Central Naval Hospital

Buenos Aires, Argentina | C.1946

Photo Credit: Matías De Caro

It’s no accident that the Hospital Naval Centrale (Central Naval Hospital) looks like a boat. The hospital serves Argentine Navy personnel, and architect Clorindo Testa intended to reflect this in his design.

The hospital institution was established in 1947, during the presidency of Juan Peron. But after receiving a property near Centennial Park from the Municipality of Buenos Aires in 1970, the Navy saw an opportunity for a bigger and better building. A contest was held for the design of the new hospital, and architect Clorindo Testa and his assistants, Hector Lacarra and Juan Genoad, won. 

The nine-story building occupies a complete block, with an outline that resembles a warship. Round, porthole-like windows with spherical yellow umbrellas dot the facade. On the roof, a water tank resembling a ship’s control tower adds to the allusion. The concrete structure is painted light blue, further invoking the sea. 

Inaugurated in 1981, the hospital is still in use today. It remains one of the most famous examples of Brutalist architecture in Argentina.

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