Practice of the Multifamiliar Architecture in Lima | Fernando Freire Forga

As part of the works of investigation developed up to the date, later there is done a brief historical – graphical review of the architectural multifamiliar context in the city of Lima, for which three periods have decided: 1. The Consolidation of the Modern Architecture 1950 – 1970, 2.-The Postmodern Period and of Transition 1970 – 1990 and 3.-The Period Contemporary 1990 – 2010.


The neocolonialism and the “revivals” prevailed in the architectural Peruvian projection up to the decade of 1940. In this then the production of multifamiliar buildings in Lima was not corresponding to the beginning restored by the modern movement that was coming developing in the international area, from the decade of 1920, rather they were corresponding to particular and very punctual orders that were projected by architects who were immersed in styles of the epoch.

By the middle of the decade of 1940 in the Engineers’ School a reform was carried out in the education of the Architecture, which formed a part of the negotiations to create the first faculty of the country, with it and the manifest published by the group I spread in 1947, the Modern Architecture would start being restored in the city of Lima. Between the principal architectural events that demonstrate the practice of the multirelative the following ones are exposed:

To beginnings of the decade of 1950 it called the attention of the union, for the year of building and for his formal characteristics, the Building of Departments in the street Rome (1950) of Teodoro Cron.

Building of departments in Calle Roma, San Isidro – Lima (Arq. T. Cron) | Fernando Freire Forga

In 1952 the architect Manuel Villarán got the prize Chavín for the building of departments Guzmán Blanco characterized by the solution of emplacement in corner and for the trend corbusierana of projecting volumes on pilotis.

Guzmán Blanco 1952 (Arq. Villarán)

In the middle of the decade of 1950, the architect Enrique Seoane projected several multifamiliar buildings that they contributed also in the consolidation of the modern architecture, between them they stand out: The Diagonal building (1954) and the building Limatambo (1954) and in the later years the buildings San Reynaldo (1956) and Nyci (1956).

Diagonal Building (arq. Enrique Seoane) | Fernando Freire Forga

The building The Pacific Ocean (1958) of Fernando de Osma, in Miraflores an important role plays also in the architectural local influence in all that the formal and spatial managing used. The division of uses turns out to be interesting across the zone of parkings in the third level.

El Pacifico Building,1958, Miraflores (arq. Fernando de Osma) | Fernando Freire Forga

The Building of Departments Neptune, in Áncon, of Alberto Menacho (1959) presented a modern solution with formal different characteristics. This building of spatial circular distribution meant his designer the obtaining of the prize Chavín in 1959.

Building of departments Neptuno.1959. Miraflores (arq. Alberto Menacho) | Fernando Freire Forga

Between the multifamiliar modern buildings we can observe two important items: buildings for revenue, which were in the habit of destining the first levels for commercial areas, leaving the top levels for housing, and buildings of departments for members of the same family, the above mentioned were in the habit of being of smaller dimensions in comparison to those of revenue. The building of departments in the park Antequera, in San Isidro, of Mario Bianco (1956) is probably one of the examples more resaltantes of a multifamiliar building for members of the same family (nowadays renewed).

Building in Parque Antequera.1956. San Isidro (arq. Mario Bianco) | Fernando Freire Forga

In this interval of time the architectural and urban interest, on the part of the public organizations, was focused in topics related to the demand of housing in our country. The creation of the Corporation of the Housing and the ONPU constituted an important gap for the urban development of the city. The local units will replace important part of increase demand on the part of the working sector. For the decade of 1960 the residential project that led the attention of the union was Residential San Philip, this time was sought to replace the demand of housing experienced by the middle class. Nevertheless, as for a correct approximation to the practice of the current multirelative, the Local Units and Residential San Philip they are projects that are limited neither to the requirements of design that warns the current projection of multifamiliar buildings, nor either to the profitable requirements that the private investment claims.

Agrupamiento Barboncito. Architecs: L. Vásquez, R. Venegas, J. Flores. 1954 |

In the decade of 1960, the private investment propitiated an important summit in relation to the growth of the city of Lima, which already had expanded towards the new districts. The population was increasing and the lots of area were starting skimping. This allowed the construction of a major number of multifamiliar buildings that changed the urban profile of the districts with population density into increase as San Isidro, Magdalena, Jesús María, Miraflores, Pueblo Libre, between others.

Between the multirelatives who stand out in the decade of 1960 we find the work of the architects: Manuel Villarán, Benjamin Velasco, Luis Vásques, Walter Weberhofer, Enrique Seoane, Julio Arce, Ernesto Aramburú, Michael Forga, between other many magnificent national architects who molded the profile of an epoch in our city.

Building in Calle Victor Maurtua, San Isidro

2. THE POSTMODERNITY 1970 – 1990.

Immediately after the coup d’état in October, 1968, the architectural practice will change course as for the interests of the condition. The worry for the demand of housing and the sets habitacionales will be supplanted by them by the projection and construction of public buildings. This change will coincide with an architectural expression to which there has been called he ” I am used brutalista “, characterized by the use of concretly exposed. Between the emblematic buildings constructed in the decade of 1970 they find the Civic Center, the Department of Fishery (current Museum of the Nation), the Building Petroperú, The Building of the Continental bank, entr different.

As for the production of multifamiliar buildings, in the decade of 1970, a limited record is had. Nevertheless, the multifamiliar buildings of this decade also were characterized by the use of concretly exposed, between them they are: The building Carmen de Michael Rodrigo M. (Av. Benavides / La Paz) and the Building On May, two of Luis Vásquez P. (1970).

La Paz Miraflores, Arq. Miguel Rodrigo M.
Image obtained of document of Contemporary Architecture the XIIIth Architects’ Pan-American Congress.

It is in the decade of 1980 where it is possible to observe that the practice of the multifamiliar building begins to taken again. To beginnings of this decade the architect Emilio Soyer will penetrate into an original solution for the distribution of departments into the Multifamiliar Building Ajax into San Isidro. The qualities of the distribution and the spatial managing will generate great interest in the union and it will turn as an important architectural modal in the following years.

Ajax Builfing in San Isidro, 1980, Emilio Soyer
Planes obtained of the document of the Biennial show V of the Architects’ College of Peru. November, 1983.

Towards ends of the decade of 1980 is observed, in the architectural practice of of Lima multirelatives, the historicist and figurative incorporation of decorative elements in the fronts of the buildings. Mainly the emulation was frequented of vain and fronts of the “barranquina architecture”.

Bresiani Building. Mario Lara – 1988 |


The aesthetic and formal experimentation initiated in the decade of 1980, will continue “exhausting even resources and subjective excuses” during the following decade. Nevertheless, as it is advanced in the search of formal identities, is observed a gradual process that starts taking again the sober and pure forms that were used in the modern architecture.

Costa Blanca Building. Artadi arquitectos |

As the city is growing and the population increasing, the practice of the multirelative in Lima despliega to geographical zones new and different from the used ones inside the urban plot. The practice expands to the West towards the Green Coast, on the cliff. For the East one takes the hills as a new emplacement I furrow and the Molina, there being achieved buildings of great height by a visual almost complete domain of the city.

The insertion of the “clubhouses”, in the second half of the decade of 1990, in the city it had a notable reception. This new alternative proposed by the private investment, included in his real-estate projects zones of services, recreation and sports. Between the first clubhouses the Casas club located in the Av stands out. Redoubt, to a stable of the Av. Benavides, constructed in 1997. From this project a great influence is observed in the city in the projection of future similar projects.

In this contemporary stage the projection of multifamiliar buildings has meant a constant adequacy – on the part of part of the designers – to the changeable regulations that it governs in every district. Regulations that try to regulate the production of multifamiliar buildings and the growth of the city in general. The real estate agencies in conjunction with the architects have devoted themselves in the latter years to elaborate a series of artifices that the major profitability provides to them for every project.

Fernando Freire Forga · Doctor Architect

Lima · may 2011 · Author ot the Blog La Forma Moderna en Latinoamérica

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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