The adequacy of the modern architecture to Peru [I] | Fernando Freire Forga

The search of the identity. The development of the architecture in Peru from the colonial epoch to the present day is tied basically to the architectural evolution of countries by traditions and customs foreign to the Peruvian reality, for what the local architects, at all time, have tried to give him to this adopted architecture some characterization that allows to identify her as Peruvian. For beginnings of the 20th century currents were generated “neoperuanas” and “indigenists” with the purpose of rescuing pre-Columbian elements that come out over the new architecture. Nevertheless, for diverse reasons, it is that this current neoperuana did not obtain the reception necessary for his development, prevailing neocolonial as style that he led even initiated the decade of 1940.

Seguros El Sol Building (1958) Placed on the corner of the Avenue The Beehive with Shred Camaná (opposite to the Hotel Bolivar and to the side of the Engineers’ Company), was constructed between 1956 and 1958 and it is An Enrique Seoane Ros’s work |

For the Peruvian architects, the revenue of the modern architecture meant an evolution achieved in developed countries and then moved to our country. The universality, as one of the beginning of the modern movement, will not be completely understood by the local architects, and it is for it that one is seen without number of attempts in the search of formal aspects that it provides to him to the architecture modern – produced in Peru – the longed identity.

This search of a national identity in the modern and contemporary architecture is up to the date one of the worries that keeps occupied many of the Peruvian architects. The fact of giving him a Peruvian identity to the architecture will be a motive of study and practice on the part of architects as Enrique Seoane, Héctor Velarde, Jose García Bryce, between others.

“Our case looked like to that of Mexico, but without the express will to be rebels towards the traditional thing Hispanic, and different from that of Brazil, because there everything was virgin whereas here there was an architectural already made world when the European came, it is a case of the major interest in America, ” and is that there are lands so paid by old cultures, thousand-year-old races and centuries of history, that everything what reaches them, for intensely and new that is, will have always an outbreak of original form and of own soul.”

Héctor Velarde, Extract of the conference offered On December 21, 1957, In the architects’ company of Peru

For achieving this own identity of Peru it is possible to see first one of the attempts in the trabajo developed by the architect Enrique Seoane Ros, who placed like decoration abstract friezes with figures zoomorfas that were evoking the architecture developed by the culture Chimú. The Building Wilson projected by Seoane Ros in 1946 gives us an approximation to the first attempts of forming a Peruvian identity in the architecture. These reminiscences also we can observe them in the building of the Department of Education which Projected for 1951.

The architect Walter Gropius in a conference directed Peruvian architects, refirió to this attempt of looking for an identity of the following way:

…“Look for the certification regional expression, but without resting on old emblems and superficial details”…

Walter Gropius

Without managing to use a decoration or superficial details as Walter Gropius demonstrated, the architect Teodoro Cron will manage to form in his projects a series of compositions that they evoke to the architectural past Peruvian. The managing of the light in the use of lattices of wood in the windows and the composition of the front of the Building of Departments in the street Rome will be a putting in interesting scene of what might be a modern architecture with national character, causing a great expectation in the of Lima society about the decade of 1950. Another project of the same architect, where the local tradition will be reflected in the use of the court as distribution element, is the house of the gentleman Jean Schaer in San Isidro, in 1958. Nevertheless the influence that Teodoro Cron’s works generated in his followers did not manage to be formed by the same quality.

The architect Jose García Bryce also developed a series of projects in which it demonstrates great skill to abstract historical Peruvian reminiscences, since in the project that it published the El Arquitecto Peruano magazine in 1962 with the title “Una Casa with Of Lima Inspiration”, where one was proposing the use of the adobe as constructive material managing to support a “modern formality”.

Fernando Freire Forga · Doctor Architect

Lima · may 2013 · Author of the Blog La Forma Moderna en Latinoamérica


Personal tests, 2012. This second part forms a part of a text that exposes the result of almost 10 years of studies related to the development of the modern architecture in Peru. It is important to mention that to manage to complete this test related to the modern architecture in Peru there have been in use studies and opinions of out-standing professionals. Ultimately a brief bibliographical review is done.

Bibliographical sources

1. Córdova, Adolfo “La Agrupación Espacio y la Arquitectura Peruana” – 2005.


3. Ludeña, Wiley “Piqueras – Belaunde – La Agrupación Espacio: TRES BUENOS TIGRES. Vanguardia y Urbanismo en el Perú del Siglo XX”. Editado por el CAP Regional Junín y Urbe ediciones – Huancayo 2004. Pag. 186.

4. José Bentín Diez Canseco Extracto de Libro: Enrique Seoane Ros, Una Búsqueda de raíces peruanas. Lima, 1989.


Fernando Freire Forga

Fernando Freire Forga nace en Lima el 21 de marzo de 1977. Entre los años 1994 y 2000 realiza estudios de arquitectura en la Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas en la misma ciudad. En 1999 obtiene el primer premio en el Concurso a nivel nacional organizado por PROCOBRE-PERÚ con la tesis: Edificio Automatizado de Oficinas: “Usos del Cobre en la Arquitectura”.

Ha realizado estudios de Doctorado sobre Arquitectura Moderna en la ETSAB, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona en la Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, España. Actualmente, se encuentra inmerso en el desarrollo de trabajos de recopilación e investigación de Arquitectura Moderna en el Perú. Es docente de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú y se desenvuelve como proyectista de manera independiente.

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