Winter may be coming (in theory), but it’s never too early to start getting excited about Spring’s most stylish event. Casa FOA is back, and this time it’s going off the beaten track to the tranquil leafy streets of suburban Villa Devoto.
For the uninitiated, Casa FOA is an annual architecture, interior design, landscape gardening, and industry event which has been running for the past 33 years. Founded in 1985 by Mercedes Malbran de Campos, it was first set up as a fundraising initiative for the Jorge Malbran Ophthalmologic Foundation (Fundación Oftalmológica Argentina Jorge Malbran, or FOA). While the foundation itself aims to help more people see, Casa FOA’s mission is to help people toward a better vision of the world, providing a platform for Argentina’s cultural values and serving as an experimental space for creative development. Since its inaugural year, 1,250 architects and interior designers have participated in the initiative, which has welcomed over 4 million visitors.
Launching on September 21st, this year’s event will take place in Villa Devoto, also known as the ‘garden of Buenos Aires’ for the sheer number of trees in the barrio. The choice of the relatively out-of-the-way neighborhood demonstrates the event’s support for the decentralization of Buenos Aires, encouraging visitors out west, away from the northern and central hotspots like Palermo or Recoleta. Most importantly, the event does not take place within a vacuum. Exhibitors are encouraged to draw inspiration from the context of the show, and Villa Devoto is a barrio brimming with both inspiration and aesthetics.
Visitors are encouraged to stroll around Devoto and take in the diverse architectural styles that make this part of the city so unique. Just as cities tell the stories of their inhabitants, Villa Devoto bears the marks of a dynamic and renovated area. It is a largely residential suburb, a quiet oasis that in a way seems like its own pueblo, rather than part of the metropolis. The last 15 years have seen the barrio undergo a significant transformation, yet it has maintained its semi-urban quality, making it a place where tradition and contemporaneity live in harmony to create something utterly inimitable.
The building selected this year is also different from the norm. While previous editions have taken place in abandoned mansions and dilapidated manors, this year sees the event take over a former convent, Nuestra Señora de Misericordia. While some of the photos of this abandoned building look creepy AF (someone needs to burn some sage in there, STAT), Casa FOA will build on the bones of this convent, preserving its unique architectural style and patterned floors, while its 3,000 m2 of galleries, cloisters, and patios will be stages upon which the participating designers can unleash their creativity. Given how they have transformed past buildings, this year’s edition will truly be something to behold.
This year, the aim is to invite reflection on the importance of interior design in daily life. Casa FOA will be divided into three main sectors: the first will showcase designs for more traditional, large-scale domestic settings, the second features proposals for young families who are looking to optimize homes with limited square footage, and the third sector will examine new workspaces, their functional needs, and how they influence the behavior and well-being of the people who work in them.
Furthermore, Casa FOA 2018 recognizes Argentina’s growing reputation as a center for artistic excellence, following last year’s stint as an Art Basel International City. For the first time, this year will feature visual art galleries alongside designers, creating a space for experimentation and creativity that will combine traditional and contemporary design to push the boundaries of cultural experimentation. As for designers, this year is particularly exciting as international heavyweight Armani is participating in the event, in a space that is bound to be flawless.
As with previous editions, Casa FOA invites designers to participate in the Architecture and Interior Design grant, the theme of which this year is ‘Daily Dining Room for a Young Family.’ There will also be the Bancos Urbanos Competition, which encourages students, architects, designers, and engineers, particularly those from outside of Buenos Aires, to create designs that demonstrate creativity, innovation, excellent construction and resistance to the passing of time. This year’s edition is one not to be missed.
Casa FOA 2018 | Pareja 3670, Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires| Friday, September 21 – Sunday, October 28 | Monday to Sunday 12PM – 8PM | Friday Casa FOA Night 12PM – 11PM | Click here for more info