“I’m from Buenos Aires. I lived in Madrid for 3 years but I recently came back. I got the opportunity to buy a house because I got a loan from the government. I came back because I knew I was never gonna be able to buy a house in Europe”. Martín, 2017.
The Law 13.512 of year 1948, also known as the Horizontal Property Law, was a government’s move to make private property more accessible to working class people. Units in shared large buildings that were offered for rent became available to own, which brought a new housing typology to Argentina: the PHs.
I visited many PHs, collected stories, analysed their architectural peculiarities and reflected on how “temporary housing” is understood in the specific sociopolitical context of Buenos Aires. The research focused on the relations and contradictions between private property and horizontal structures; I worked in collaboration with citizens from Buenos Aires, sharing general thoughts about real state and capitalism, and also personal stories, emotional spaces and projected architectures.
The video is a monologue where an ambiguous character portrays a PH. Her voice, use of words, body language and body position replace images of the architecture, and her speech opens an alternative space to reflect about social relations and our own understanding of property.