The House on the Stream (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 1942) was awarded 2024 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize

Exteriors. Image courtesy of Luis Picarrelli (Pre-restoration) & Mariana Quiroga (Post-restoration)

The masterpiece by Amancio Williams and Delfina Galvez has been cared for and recognized by DOCOMOMO since its inclusion in the first international registers in 1996, published and edited by Dennis Sharp and Catherine Cook: “The Modern Movement in Architecture/Selections from the DOCOMOMO Registers” (010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 2000).

In 2003, after years of abandonment, the house was vandalized, and in 2004, it was burned. This strengthened the efforts of local professionals who understood the importance of the iconic legacy it had carried since long ago. Particularly, two architects from Mar del Plata, Graciela Di Iorio and Herman Clinckspoor, made systematic and continuous efforts to rescue the house from its critical condition.

In 2006, during our international DOCOMOMO conference in Ankara, they appealed to Docomomo Argentina for help from the international MoMo community to convince the authorities to intervene. Jorge Gazaneo wrote a note, and Hubert-Jan Henket asked our colleagues for their support, which was generously given. That letter, together with an introductory one by Mabel Scarone, reached the local authorities in Mar del Plata. This was an important step that made it possible in 2013 for the house to be purchased and for the civil association “Amigos de la Casa sobre el Arroyo” to begin a rehabilitation plan.

DOCOMOMO’s concern and commitment to the enhancement and rehabilitation of the House on the Stream never waned. In 2014, the then international chair, Ana Tostoes, offered technical assistance, and the national working party has closely followed all the work carried out. Members have also provided advice and assistance upon request. In 2020, its rehabilitation was included in DOCOMOMO’s Good Conservation and Restoration Practice.

As the official announcement of the World Monuments Fund states, the awarded rehabilitation is the result of the efforts of local and national public institutions – the Ministerios de Cultura y de Obras Públicas de Argentina y Municipalidad de Mar del Plata (Ministries of Culture and Public Works of Argentina and Municipality of Mar del Plata), as well as individuals, including the Williams-Galvez family, who have preserved the funds, and other private and public institutions and organizations at the local, national, and international levels that made it possible. It is gratifying to acknowledge that DOCOMOMO was a part of it. Thanks and congratulations to all colleagues who made it possible.

Interiors. Image courtesy of Luis Picarrelli (Pre-restoration) & Mariana Quiroga (Post-restoration)