Lambayeque, PE by Rafael Herrin-Ferri
This survey features three prominent post-war modernist works from the Lambayeque region of Peru.
The first is the Municipal Library “Eufemio Lora y Lora” from the capital city of Chiclayo. These tile-clad cantilevered slabs bring to mind the monumental massing and muralist masterpiece from the Autonomous University of Mexico’s Central Library but in a more abstract graphic style that emphasizes the horizontal nature of the building. The design harmonizes nicely with the busy thoroughfare in front and the streetscape of brightly colored vehicles.
The second structure is the Mercado Modelo (Central Market) in the small city of Lambayeque. This simple superstructure of folded concrete ribbons was built in the 60’s to provide shelter and services for the once informal market that gathered nearby along the Pan American Highway. That same informal market has once again surrounded the new amenity and absorbed it into the city fabric that predominates in this section of the city.
The third and final work is the most “heroic” of the three—or any other modernist structure in Peru. The FAP Residence, by Adolfo Córdova and Carlos Williams, is a tropical modern ” Unité-style” building for the members of the Peruvian Air Force, magnificently detailed with ceramic tile breezeblock, shifting wood scrim panels, and sculpted concrete canopies. This Latin American tour-de-force from 1959 is buffered from the streets by a defensive single-story wall but still figures prominently on the skyline of Chiclayo, setting a modern tone for the city.