Victoria Ocampo’s house was declared a National Historic Monument

The house of Victoria Ocampo was declared a National Historic Monument this Friday, from decree 380/2022 through which the National Government recognized the construction for its patrimonial and architectural value; while agreeing not to modify it, demolish it and keep it free of the payment of taxes. It is the house that the writer and editor had on Rufino de Elizalde Street No. 2831, in Barrio Parque, City of Buenos Aires. In 1928 it was commissioned to the architect Alejandro Bustillo, in front of the eyes of the neighbors of the area, of the then neighborhood with French style, who maintained: “that the proposal was not architecture, that it feared the neighborhood, that the house had nothing to do with the beauty of the French neoclassical that would surround it”. Inspired by the rationalist style of Le Corbusier, Victoria’s idea was , in this sense – another of her rupturist ideas for what her social class expected of her.

In this way, he created a construction composed “by several volumes stripped of ornamentation. The walls rise in a series of planes, quadrangles and cubes from a single circular pillar that starts from the central portico. The entrance hall continues the luminous planes of the façade. These are features that make its modernity the austere treatment of surfaces, with its balanced proportion of full and empty; the handling of natural light in the interiors and its fluid relationship with the outside; and the spatial continuity without ornaments”, as detailed by the Ministry of Culture of the Nation, in information shared with this media.

Victoria Ocampo’s house was declared a National Historic Landmark | Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture

The house also saw the birth of the famous literary magazine Sur, led by Victoria, and which included writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, José Bianco, Waldo Frank, Walter Gropius, Alfonso Reyes Ochoa, José Ortega y Gasset, Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Octavio Paz, Jules Supervielle, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Eduardo Mallea, Ernesto Sabato,  Federico García Lorca, Gabriel García Márquez, Gabriela Mistral, Silvina Ocampo, Pablo Neruda, among many. Since the writer sought to connect literature from different parts of the world and encourage cultural exchange.

Members of Sur magazine posing in the living room of the house. From top to bottom and from left to right: Eduardo Bullrich, Jorge Luis Borges, Francisco Romero, Eduardo Mallea, Enrique Bullrich, Victoria Ocampo, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Norah Borges, María Rosa Oliver, Carola Padilla, Guillermo de Torre, Oliverio Girondo, Ernest Ansermet. Year: 1931. | Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture

History of the house
It was built after Villa Victoria, the residence that is located in Mar del Plata, one of its first buildings that brought to the country, a style that was nourished by the European avant-garde.

Victoria Ocampo’s house was declared a National Historic Landmark | Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture

In 1940, after the death of her father, Manuel Silvio Cecilio Ocampo, Victoria decided to settle in her house in Béccar, known as Villa Ocampo, today administered by Unesco, an entity to whom she gave it so that it continues to function over time as a cultural plant.

Victoria Ocampo’s house was declared a National Historic Landmark | Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture

“Since then, the house of Rufino de Elizalde had several owners until Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat – who presided over the National Fund for the Arts between 1992 and 2003 – acquired it to become part of the patrimonial assets of the State, the last year of its management. The main challenge then was to make a construction initially conceived as a family home begin to function as a space for public use. The project to give this new functionality to the house was commissioned to Luis Benedit and Alejandro Corres. First, the architects sought to restore the original version of the façade, as the front had been altered. The reliable plans with the original documentation of Bustillo allowed to fulfill this first objective. In 2005 the house opened to the public as the House of Culture of the National Fund of the Arts. The house is open to all those who want to visit it and enjoy the artistic and free meetings scheduled from the National Fund for the Arts, “they detail from the ministry.

Synonymous with culture in Argentina. Our new installment of #ArgentinasHistóricas is dedicated to Victoria Ocampo, a woman who dedicated her life to literature and became one of thes great protagonists of the twentieth century. — Google Argentina (@googleargentina)
December 17, 2020

From Filo.News together with Google Argentina, we made a special note dedicated to the edition of Historical Women, about Victoria Ocampo, woman of letters, intelligent and deep that you can read by entering here.

Original source in Spanish

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