This work aims to construct a cultural history of architecture in Colombia during the period of its integration in the international modernity circuits, i.e. between the 1930s and 1960s. Architecture is here intended as a cultural practice — not limited to its objectual and constructive dimension — that results from a broader system. In this system, multiple actors, institutions, and a series of spaces of representation interact. As such, this system is investigated in its multiple dimensions. After having introduced a series of themes that emerge during the first part of the XX century all over Latin America (modernity, nationalism and internationalism, identity, conflicts among professional groups), this research proceeds with the analysis of three autonomous but deeply intertwined dimensions. Firstly, Colombian architects’ educational and professional mobility is investigated, highlighting the importance of these experiences in the process of knowledge and imaginaries transfer and in the first definition of the international reception of Colombian architecture. In second place, the focus shifts to the institutional dimension of architectural faculties, specifically in the construction of architectural teaching in the country. This allows to cast light on various interrelated aspects, from the individual contribution by Colombians educated abroad to the evolution of study plans, marked by a continuos comparison with both Bogotá first faculty and many foreign schools, mostly US American. The picture that emerges helps to read the particularities of Colombian academic milieu, trying to overcame a certain ‘flattening’ on Bogotá oftentimes proposed by historiography. The third and last level of analysis concerns the architectural spaces of representation, such as magazines, books, and exhibitions. As for the former, this work focuses on the construction of an ordered discourse, showing which ones among the main themes of international debate were acknowledged in Colombia and how they reached the country. The sources of this section are several journals of engineering or municipal issues published during the 1920-30s, before the establishment of the first architectural magazine in Colombia, “Proa”. It follows a ‘geographic’ analysis of the international contents circulating on “Proa”, pointing out specific transfer routes and receptive modalities — always with a comparative outlook on major international journals — and highlighting the Latin American orientation of the magazine. Then, the continuous ‘ping pong’ between Colombia and the USA has been studied as a fundamental element in the construction process of a well defined image of Colombian architecture. An image that can be read in two seminal text: Arango and Martínez’s Arquitectura en Colombia and Hitchcock’s Latin American Architecture Since 1945. Afterward, the circulation of architectural books and magazines within the country and the consistency of some specialised libraries have been screened. Finally, architectural exhibitions showing national and international production in the country and Colombian architecture abroad have been mapped. These three sections, corresponding to the three central chapters of this work, intend to outline a new cultural geography of architecture in Colombia. New with respect to what historiography has so far offered to the reader. A geography that appears substantially European — revolving around certain processes, events, and experiences — is now completed by a more ‘American’ one, which emphasises the link between Colombia and the USA and other Latin American countries. More up-to-date historiographic tendencies, such as the histoire croisée and the connected history, help to shade light on a territory where national boundaries blur. Colombia can emerge as a transit and meeting platform for multiple networks that build a more connected America, from North to South.

Piattaforma Colombia. Scenari dell’architettura tra Europa e Americhe alle radici del discorso storiografico nazionale (1936-1963) / Botti, Giaime. - (2017).

Piattaforma Colombia. Scenari dell’architettura tra Europa e Americhe alle radici del discorso storiografico nazionale (1936-1963).

BOTTI, GIAIME
2017

Abstract

This work aims to construct a cultural history of architecture in Colombia during the period of its integration in the international modernity circuits, i.e. between the 1930s and 1960s. Architecture is here intended as a cultural practice — not limited to its objectual and constructive dimension — that results from a broader system. In this system, multiple actors, institutions, and a series of spaces of representation interact. As such, this system is investigated in its multiple dimensions. After having introduced a series of themes that emerge during the first part of the XX century all over Latin America (modernity, nationalism and internationalism, identity, conflicts among professional groups), this research proceeds with the analysis of three autonomous but deeply intertwined dimensions. Firstly, Colombian architects’ educational and professional mobility is investigated, highlighting the importance of these experiences in the process of knowledge and imaginaries transfer and in the first definition of the international reception of Colombian architecture. In second place, the focus shifts to the institutional dimension of architectural faculties, specifically in the construction of architectural teaching in the country. This allows to cast light on various interrelated aspects, from the individual contribution by Colombians educated abroad to the evolution of study plans, marked by a continuos comparison with both Bogotá first faculty and many foreign schools, mostly US American. The picture that emerges helps to read the particularities of Colombian academic milieu, trying to overcame a certain ‘flattening’ on Bogotá oftentimes proposed by historiography. The third and last level of analysis concerns the architectural spaces of representation, such as magazines, books, and exhibitions. As for the former, this work focuses on the construction of an ordered discourse, showing which ones among the main themes of international debate were acknowledged in Colombia and how they reached the country. The sources of this section are several journals of engineering or municipal issues published during the 1920-30s, before the establishment of the first architectural magazine in Colombia, “Proa”. It follows a ‘geographic’ analysis of the international contents circulating on “Proa”, pointing out specific transfer routes and receptive modalities — always with a comparative outlook on major international journals — and highlighting the Latin American orientation of the magazine. Then, the continuous ‘ping pong’ between Colombia and the USA has been studied as a fundamental element in the construction process of a well defined image of Colombian architecture. An image that can be read in two seminal text: Arango and Martínez’s Arquitectura en Colombia and Hitchcock’s Latin American Architecture Since 1945. Afterward, the circulation of architectural books and magazines within the country and the consistency of some specialised libraries have been screened. Finally, architectural exhibitions showing national and international production in the country and Colombian architecture abroad have been mapped. These three sections, corresponding to the three central chapters of this work, intend to outline a new cultural geography of architecture in Colombia. New with respect to what historiography has so far offered to the reader. A geography that appears substantially European — revolving around certain processes, events, and experiences — is now completed by a more ‘American’ one, which emphasises the link between Colombia and the USA and other Latin American countries. More up-to-date historiographic tendencies, such as the histoire croisée and the connected history, help to shade light on a territory where national boundaries blur. Colombia can emerge as a transit and meeting platform for multiple networks that build a more connected America, from North to South.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11583/2677790
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