city hall

A sustainable new city hall in Buenos Aires called Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno has officially opened.

Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno will house the Buenos Aires mayor and 1,500 staff.

Designed by Foster + Partners to be environmentally friendly, it has a new, flexible, internal arrangement of terraced working floors and spans an entire city block in Parque Patricios.

Entry to the building is through a four-storey-high atrium and its floor-to-ceiling glass walls flood the space with natural light, creating a clear view of the adjacent park.

All floors are connected by top-lit circulation routes and punctuated by two landscaped patios.

According to Foster + Partners, activity spaces in the building are open, naturally lit and visible and ensure good communication between departments.

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The floor plates are based on an 8m grid allowing for a variety of layouts. Amenities include a café and a 300-seat, wood-panelled auditorium that can be used for events by the local neighbourhood.

"Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno is a great demonstration of how architecture can work with nature…to naturally reduce energy use."

City hall’s roof canopy is supported by pillars and extends in a deep overhang to shade the entrance plaza and facades.

Industrial materials have been used throughout the building and the thermal mass of the concrete soffits, combined with chilled beams, help naturally regulate the temperature.

Architect Lord Foster said: "Sustainability relates very strongly to local resources and climate, and Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno is a great demonstration of how architecture can work with nature via passive environmental means to naturally reduce energy use.

"The roof extends like a canopy to provide shade, its flowing concrete structure is both symbolic as a civic building and functional in regulating temperatures."

Foster + Partners head of studio David Summerfield said: "This is an important milestone for the practice, and we are proud that our first civic work in Argentina is such an important government office for Buenos Aires."

Image: Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno in Argentina. Photo: courtesy of Foster + Partners.