We proudly announce the incorporation of the collection-archive Juan Kurchan (Buenos Aires, 1913-1972) to our catalogue, donated by the Kurchan Family.
Featuring in the Kurchan collection are blueprints, photographs, drawings (of surreal style), letters, and texts. An inestimable set of pieces and documents that will be safeguarded by IDA Foundation.
Juan Kurchan, an Argentine architect, urbanist, designer, and a Le Corbusier disciple, was one of the founding members of Austral Group (1937-1941), which created the emblematic BKF seat. He put into practice new architecture concepts in his quest to accomplish transcendental projects based on integral planning.
Graciela Mariani was in charge of all research and safeguarding procedures required to integrate Kurchan’s collection to IDA’s patrimonial archive. The collection includes blueprints, photographs, sketches, artistic paintings, mail, and texts. A set of priceless pieces and documents that will be duly preserved by IDA Foundation.
The Argentine architect, urbanist, and designer Juan Kurchan (Buenos Aires, 1913-1972) mentored the Modern Movement in the country. He graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in 1937. He was also trained, alongside Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, at Le Corbusier’s studio in Paris during 1936 and 1937. Both artists collaborated later on in the “Buenos Aires Plan”, a project that was published in 1947 with the title “Buenos Aires Master Plan”.
Years later, the EPBA (Buenos Aires Plan Studio Office) was constituted and Ferrari Hardoy, as director, secured the collaboration of Kurchan, Antonio Bonet, and many others. Kurchan was a founding member of Austral Group (1937-1941), a collective created alongside Antonio Bonet and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy. Together, they implemented new theoretical concepts in architecture projects developed all over the country. These innovative principles were duly presented in the Austral Manifesto, which was published in the journal Nuestra Arquitectura (1939). The group developed the BKF seat, a piece that received awards and recognition worldwide during the 1940’s and became a symbol of Argentine industrial design. Simultaneously, he worked as the curriculum director of the Working Class Construction University (1939), a position from which he contributed to theoretical and intellectual production.
He enhanced his professional career by designing residential buildings, collective housing units, and avant-garde homes in Buenos Aires City (projects developed in partnership with Ferrari Hardoy); participating in the rebuilding of the city of San Juan after the devastating earthquake of 1944; and by performing as General Urbanism Director of the Municipality of Buenos Aires Municipality (1952 a 1960).
Finally, Kurchan participated in the creation of URBIS Group, an association specialized in architecture and planning, alongside José Luis Bacigalupo, Alfredo Luis Guidali, Jorge Osvaldo Riopedre, Héctor Ugarte, and Simón L. Ungar.
His work as a designer made him recipient of several accolades. In partnership with other colleagues, he planned and directed a wide range of architecture and urban planning projects in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil. Some of the most celebrated ones are the Marine Biology Center in Ushuaia and the Urbis Plan for Buenos Aires.