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Livni +

Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay



Pedro Livni (Architect), Rafael Solano (Architect)



Santiago Aldabalde


Marcos Guiponi


The project, in its different phases, involved accommodating a great diversity of programs - the headquarters of a local media group, five radio-stations and a theatre, two restaurants, offices and retail - with different specificities, with the challenge of generating a synergy between them while each of the parties can function independently.
With the aim of integrating the project at the neighborhood scale and allowing the independent functioning of each of the parts, the project is conceived from a vacuum by introducing a public itinerary. The urban dimension takes precedence over a purely formal approach.
Likewise, considering the neighborhood scale, the different stages are thought of as independent pieces linked by the public itinerary. In this way, the succession of parts adapts to the scale of the block composed of mostly two-story single-family houses.
As a continuation of the public itinerary defined in stage one, the two buildings of stage two, conceived as a dialectic pair (tectonically and formally antagonistic), flank the public passage: one a massive, monolithic box, the other a transparent/translucent slope. The tension created by these two contrasting architectural episodes serves as a programmatic and tectonic/material counterpoint. They define the true fulcrum of the project: the public passageway.
In order to create estrangement between the public way and the open interior spaces of the property a sequence of tropical gardens, inspired by the naive images of Henri Rousseau, is established.


The project for Magnolio Media Group consists of a series of media-related programs (the headquarters of a local media group, five radio-stations and a theatre), along with retail and dining facilities situated in a primarily residential neighborhood. The project aims to integrate the highly specific programmatic requirements of the building with the neighborhood by introducing a new system of public passageways and a plaza located in the middle of the block; it seeks to reimagine the conventional public/private thresholds and the urban plot within an otherwise conventional and relatively unattractive, yet consolidated, urban grid.
Both buildings aim for high material and structural consistency; used as a means to define the linear passage-like character of the urban passageway.
By segmenting the program into two buildings (plus the one built in the first phase) the project creates an architectural cluster (deliberately complex) that dialogues both in terms of scale and materiality with the surrounding neighborhood, which is primarily composed of one or two-story houses.
More than imply creating “buildings,” the project is concerned with the urban “void” that emerges between the two structures. Indeed, the core of the project lies in the space between them. This void cuts through the perimeter of the built block and envisions a green space/garden.
The relatively narrow passage opens onto a plaza, an effect that is further enhanced by the height of adjacent buildings, thus creating a rare, deliberately intricate, and uniquely contained urban public space.


Our main interest was to give the building a strong public dimension.
In terms of its performance, the project has deliberately exacerbated fortuitous encounters between the private and the public, inhabitants and passers-by, fostering local tensions and interactions that promote community entanglements. This creates a micro-world that is highly interconnected and dependent on the dynamics of the block and the neighborhood.
The project thus becomes an extension/activation of the public space, and adds a dramatic/intense encounter with architecture; it subverts and complicates the thresholds of and relationships with the architectural and the urban, the private and the public.
What could have been simply an architectural project becomes both an urban project and an urban intervention/strategy. It deliberately challenges and critiques radical disciplinary distinctions and boundaries. Whether Magnolio Media Group is an architectural project or an urban intervention is ambiguous and blurred, emphasize its multifaceted nature and purpose.

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