Ciudad Vieja Community Center,

Gustavo A. Fuentes (GAF)

A community building is proposed, which provides cultural value and enhances the existing public space. It is triggered by a revitalizing guideline on site.


Quantitative Information: The intervention area is in Montevideo, Ciudad Vieja, more precisely in the block where the Plaza de Deportes Nº 1 is located. At the foot of the Old Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. Dumped on the port promenade, the property extends from Calle Cerrito to Calle 25 Mayo, with a width of 19.5 meters and a length of 85 meters. Generating a property with a potential area of 1650m2. Regarding the orientation, its 85 meters long move from the North to the South, generating a full East-West orientation. Coexist in the vicinity, the Port with its stretch of boulevard, the beginning or end of the Old City, the Old Faculty of Mathematics and a recently updated sports and recreation plaza. With new urban equipment, and with low density of vegetation.


Qualitative Information: The property is presented with an unbeatable potential value. The perspective that conforms together with the old faculty, and the square, could give a new value and reformulation to existing wasted spaces.

“- What is the most important thing in a building?

– The key is not to start at the end, with the form. Understand what the problem is 60%. There are many problems. Getting them not to be noticed and that the architecture has lightness is a struggle. Being clear about what you know and what you do not know is key to making decisions. When facing a project you come across a powerful idea, you must take care of it because it is like a flower. Either you protect it or you can’t keep it. If the flower metaphor is cheesy, it is also useful to compare the idea with Super Mario, the protagonist of console games. He spends all his time expelling what does not suit him. The architects dedicate themselves to that, to remove from the ship what threatens to sink it. Anne Lacaton for the El País of Spain “



Proposing premises for restructuring, development and growth in an urban area with heritage value for the city of Montevideo: A community building is proposed, which provides cultural value and enhances the existing public space. It is triggered by a revitalizing guideline on site. The Building will function as a community space, capable of offering daily cultural and leisure-recreational activities. Starting from this fundamental conception, the relationship between the Building and the property is analyzed, sizing the impact it generates on it. It is here that new lines of opportunity appear, which strengthen and justify the investment of the same.

-The opportunity area is located in Ground Zero of the City. Interstitial place of historical / patrimonial, logistical / commercial and residential value. The building takes on more meaning when it is possible to visualize the pre-existing dynamics. Giving rise to a new intention on the project, Icónico Building, in accordance with the value given by its location. The place is visualized as a starting point for local and foreign tourist circuits. To materialize its realization, sports and cultural programs are promoted that give value to the space and promote investment opportunities. Managed by the Municipality and the community center, it can be used for educational, art and cultural activities.


“In some cases the program is so vague that it becomes interesting to confront it with the first form that emerges … And in others the program is so strong that it is important to respond vaguely” Rem Koolhaas

A simple, geometrically structured building is proposed, with modulation rules that take into account the construction technology. Large-scale, taking into account the whole, and the role it plays.


Author: Gustavo A. Fuentes (GAF)
Website: TFC – GAF.
Location: Montevideo, Uruguay.
University:  Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo-Universidad de la República.
Year: 2021