Centro Civico

Santa Rosa, Argentina | C.1958

Photo Credit: Vanessa Bell

The Civic Center of Santa Rosa is the seat of the administration of the Province of La Pampa. The Brutalist-style civic building occupies an area of about 9 hectares and lies east of the historic center of the city. It was also the first large-scale work designed by the renowned Argentine architect Clorindo Testa.

Starting in 1935, the Government of La Pampa operated in a building on the corner of Quintana and Pellegrini. La Pampa was a National Territory until 1952, and finally within that year had it been elevated to the category of a Province. This new status made it necessary to build a set of buildings of adequate scale and definitive character to house the three powers of the new province.

In 1955, the Central Society of Architects called for proposals for the new Civic Center of the newly recognized province. Ultimately the jury chose Clorindo Test  as the winner the project who was a relatively young and unknown architect at that time.

When Testa presented his proposal for the first stage of construction in 1955, he emphasized that the strong horizontality to characterize the Civic Center of Santa Rosa. It was built low in construction and in its natural environment of plain and pastureland to emphasis the sparse geographical features. The new civic center embodied the spare features of the land that lied on the edge of the small city to the east where the Pampean landscape extended without limits.

Today, the property is occupied by the following buildings, the Government House of the Province, the Bus Terminal and Tourism Secretariat, and the Chamber of Deputies of the Province to name a few. Depicted are employee lockers with a backdrop of the original tiling in the Camera of Deputies building which was built during the 2nd phase of construction from 1972-1976. The buildings still acts as one of the civic centers to Argentina to this day.

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