It was built by Delfina Galvez Bunge and Amancio Williams between 1943 and 1946 over the Las Chacras Stream, in the city Mar del Plata. It was eventually referred to as “The House on the River” and “The Bridge House”. It lost its stream and became a bridge in 1957, when the watercourse upon which it rested was cut off for sanitation reasons. Between 1970 and 1977 it was used as a radio station, but it was eventually shut down by the last military dictatorship of Argentina. It was kept closed by the original owners until their deaths in 1991. It was loved by all but neglected by none. It was destroyed in two fires: one in 2004 and another in 2008. It was abandoned throughout the succession process and it was eventually reclaimed by the Municipality of General Pueyrredon (2012/12).

It was designated a National Historic Artistic Monument in 2016, more than seven decades after it was built. After the promise to restore the house completely, it was impossible to raise the funds necessary to complete the project in 2017. The municipality opens the call for tenders in 2019. The National Treasury awarded 42,148,784.15 Argentinean Pesos to the restoration plans. The entire restoration and enhancement of the building will be handled by the Consulper company’s restoration division for twelve months. If everything goes according to plan, “The House on the River”, which will be a museum for the public in 2022, will be restored to its original glory and made open to the public, in 2022. This landmark example of twentieth century architecture, and a reference point for understanding the influence of the Modern Movement in Argentina or Latin America’s Modern Movement will have a happy end.

La casa sobre el arroyo - Fotografía interior. Image via © Ministerio del Interior, Obras Públicas y Vivienda Bajo Licencia CC BY 2.5 AR

These are the details of the actual work on the House on the River. After the conclusion of the tender process and an agreement with the government, the company took possession of the site. They have begun work on preliminary surveys and the construction of the necessary subsidiary structures to start the restoration process.

According to the Ministry of Public Works’ report, the work to be done in the main house includes the renovation of the roof, façades, plastering, plastering, ceilings and ironwork, as well as furniture and interior equipment.

La casa sobre el arroyo - Fotografía de la azotea. Image via © Ministerio del Interior, Obras Públicas y Vivienda Bajo Licencia CC BY 2.5 AR

All elements not included in the original project were removed. The process of washing the structural arch has started to remove graffiti and stickers from the outer layer.

La casa sobre el arroyo - Fotografía interior. Image via © Ministerio del Interior, Obras Públicas y Vivienda Bajo Licencia CC BY 2.5 AR

In order to stop further damage, the national government also announced that they will continue work on repairing the roofs and facades. Restoration will also be done to the existing masonry, as well as the exterior and interior plastering. Ceilings will be chipped, consolidated, and all floors will be removed, restored, and replaced.