Espacio Polifuncional Balcón del Cerro
Architects: Federico Borges, María Lucía Arce, Lucas Cardona
Client: Montevideo Quartermaster
Status: Competition (2022)
Clasification: Honour mention
Location: Montevideo, Uruguay
Coordinates: -34.886731, -56.259177
Climate: Humid subtropical, Temperate
Materials: Glass, Metal
Environments: Mountain, Park
Visualizer: Atelier de imágenes
Budget: 1.872.391 €
Scale: 1.250 ㎡ Medium
Ratio: 1.497,91 €/㎡
Types: Cultural, Mixed use

This project aims to become part of a series of buildings spread across Cerro de Montevideo, Uruguay. Those buildings and the singular geography of the site reminds of the city’s history, from 19th century to nowadays. The main objective of this project is to make the historical heritage visible as well as being a proper scenario for contemporary and further uses.

Locus, or the project site

This project aims to become part of a series of buildings spread across Cerro de Montevideo and to work as interface between Vaz Ferreira Park and Cerro neighborhood . Fortaleza General Artigas and Teatro de Verano del Cerro are the main ‘singular points’ and the nearest to the project location. The building is siting on a concrete basement and surrounded by an ‘extended area’ that attempts to connect it with Teatro de Verano del Cerro in order to ‘activate’ the urban landscape and to make the historical heritage visible in its condition of ‘singular points’ located over Vaz Ferreira Park.

Atrium and urban terraces

Atrium, urban terraces and the proposed building aims to underline the relationship between Centro de Montevideo and Cerro neighborhood. Its location allows a panoramic sight of the city centre and the building silhouette can be identified from afar. The proposed basement can be understood as a hall or an urban atrium that turns access to the building fluid. It is possible to access the building by any of its facades, underlining the public condition of the ground floor and emphasizing the ‘social pole’ characteristics of the project. Universal accessibility is an important aspect of design and the atrium reflects that matter by its continuity and flat materialization. Also, this basement does not respond to specifics functions or has any permanent urban equipment, attempting to define its use according to the users requirements through time.


The proposed building is designed in order to respond to the site conditions and the demands of use required by the program. The building scheme can be described as a prismatic volume on a continuous basement which glass enclosure and its exterior pillars delimitate an intermediate space or stoa that works as an exterior-interior interface. The glass enclosure responds to the modulated structure and surrounds the entire building, as well as large format screens, which works as brise-soleils. The structural scheme of the project underlines its flexibility, defining an homogeneous interior area capable of being adapted to different and undefined uses. The steel structure has two sectors, the first one is materialized by truss beams and pillars and the second one by a grid of pillars and beams. While the first sector defines a ‘capable area’ of 32,0×19,2×8,0m that can be configured as a large-scale events area, the second one generates a two-level sector that works with low-scale programs; this two levels are linked by a vertical circulation that includes stairs and lift, making the building fully accesible.

Competition: Espacio Polifuncional Balcón del Cerro | Post date: 29/05/2023 | Views: 1.264