Past Watch Site

« Back

CASA SOBRE EL ARROYO

CASA SOBRE EL ARROYO
Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
INFORMATION

The Casa sobre el Arroyo in Mar del Plata is one of the most celebrated works of modern architect Amancio Williams (1913–1989), and one of few built during his lifetime. Williams designed this house in the early 1940s for his father, Alberto Williams, a well known composer and conductor. He took on this project only a few years after graduating from the University of Buenos Aires and in collaboration with his wife, Delfina Galvez. A thin concrete arch straddling a stream supports a flat concrete slab, which contains the main level of the house. Horizontal ribbon windows wrap around all four sides of the house, which originally contained a wood-paneled interior. Williams was one of the protagonists of modernism in Latin America, and his work, including the Casa sobre el Arroyo, has exerted great influence on recent generations of architects in Argentina.

After Alberto Williams’s death the house changed hands, and it was later used as the headquarters of a local radio station. An ownership dispute has led to abandonment and prolonged neglect since the early 1990s. The house has recently suffered from vandalism, and in 2004 a fire destroyed much of the interior. Meanwhile, a plan to expropriate the house to ensure its conservation has faced many obstacles. Many concerned citizens of Mar del Plata have now signed on to the cause of preserving this modern monument in its original landscape, and are seeking the support of the municipality and the Province of Buenos Aires.

Download a 2012 Watch poster of this site (see download instructions)

UPDATE

After years of uncertainty, the municipality of Mar del Plata purchased the landmark property with help from the federal government, at a cost of 12 million pesos. Transfer of ownership was completed in May 2012. In January 2013, parts of the house and the surrounding landscape were opened to the public for guided tours. At the same time, local advocates are expressing fears that the context of the house will be irrevocably lost, since the surrounding landscape is still not under the ownership of the municipality. March 2013

IN THE MEDIA

World Monuments Fund

SPOTLIGHT

WORLD MONUMENTS WATCH DAY

On September 21, 2012, a Watch Day celebration was held at Casa sobre el Arroyo, highlighting the light, form, and sounds associated with the iconic architecture of the house. Visitors enjoyed the landscape and participated in art contests, while listening to music inspired by Williams’s design.

On Youtube: Primavera Junto al Parque de la Casa del Puente
Dig Deeper: Watch Day Slideshow , Watch Day Video
In the Blogosphere: Primavera Junto al Parque de la Casa del Puente

CASA SOBRE EL ARROYO
View of the house and the stream bed towards the south, 2011
CASA SOBRE EL ARROYO
Stairway leading to the main level of the house, 2004
CASA SOBRE EL ARROYO
View of Casa sobre el Arroyo and the surrounding landscape to the south, 2011
CASA SOBRE EL ARROYO
Visitors explore the site during Watch Day, 2012
Syndicate content
IN THE MEDIA
Yo Reconsidero, tú Reconsideras...
Página 12, Saturday, October 8, 2011