CENTRO CULTURAL RECOLETA
EL ALEPH AND VILLA VILLA AUDITORIUMS,
Typology: Cultural Center
Location: Junín 1930, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Subject: Restoration, refunctionalization and equipment project of auditóriums “El Aleph and “Villa Villa”.
Services: Staging and Theater architecture bidding project
Client: Undersecretary of Cultural Policies and New Audiences, Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires
General architecture project: Arq. Jerónimo Bedel
Consultants: Arq. Andrés Cumsille, Ing. Gustavo Basso, Ing. Juan Antonio Vargas
Collaborating: Arq. María Virginia Castro
Seats: 130 (El Aleph)+ 350 (Villa Villa)
Estimated total surface: 19.000 m2
Estimated cost of intervention: US$ 5.000.000
The Recoleta Cultural Center is an exhibition complex part of the tourist circuit of the City of Buenos Aires, declared a National Historic Monument. Carried out by the renowned architect Clorindo Testa together with the architects Jacques Bedel and Luis Benedit, it was inaugurated for the first time as such in 1980. Its history dates back to 1716 when the site was donated to the Franciscan Recollect friars, who occupied it as a cloister. After numerous changes of use, the building was remodeled in 1880 by the architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo who carried out a series of reforms, including the iconic basilica that would be restored in 2010, currently housing the "El Aleph" auditorium with capacity for 130 people. The Villa Villa auditorium, inaugurated in 2001, has a capacity for 350 people and functions as a multipurpose room.
The refurbishment and valorization project of the Recoleta Cultural Center in the theater architecture aspect, includes the "El Aleph" and "Villa Villa" auditoriums, with their artistic dependencies. New technology was provided for both halls, including stage equipment for multi-purpose rooms, technical and artistic support areas, stage lighting systems and multifunctional stages.
The room El Aleph was equipped with the greatest flexibility of uses possible within its particular morphological capabilities, taking into account that it is a heritage building. This will enable the productions of theater, concert of small orchestras, contemporary dance, recitals, musical shows, special events and conferences. Its stage equipment consisted of a non-passable rigging grid system with the objective of maximizing the clearance height, aluminum battens without vertical race, auxiliary rigging systems, set dressing and main curtain, technical intercom systems, audio and video. In addition, the necessary acoustic elements, stage lighting, a modulated stage floor and retractable stalls that allow the room to adopt multiple configurations were designed.
The Villa Villa auditorium was designed to function as an experimental hall constituting a powerhouse of creative activities related to the performing arts. The areas of technical and artistic support were reorganized to achieve better spatial interrelations and increase the reception capacity of artists and personnel linked to production. This is how artists' dressing rooms were completely remodeled, typical support areas such as Green Room, generic technical material warehouses and workshops were generated. The stage equipment includes a grid system and two levels of technical fly galleries that allow operating on the entire surface of the auditorium according to the required configuration. At the same time, a system of motorized battens was designed consisting of 18 lines, which have the possibility of sliding on the longitudinal axis of the room, covering any required position. A complementary auxiliary manual system and auxiliary assembly systems were also included. The project contemplated the stage dressing, stage lighting, technical intercommunication, audio and video. The acoustic elements necessary to limit the transmission of vibrations and noise from the interior to the exterior or vice versa were designed.