Viktor Sulčič: The Slovene Who Designed Buenos Aires’ La Bombonera

By , 15 Oct 2018, 19:16 PM Made in Slovenia
Viktor Sulčič and La Bombonera Viktor Sulčič and La Bombonera Viktor Sulčič from www.mzz.gov.si; La Bombonera from Wikipedia - Diego Delso CC-by-SA-3.0

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STA, 15 October 2018 - A Slovenian architect who moved to Argentina in 1924 has left an important mark on the city that currently hosts the Summer Youth Olympic Games. Viktor Sulčič is one of the designers of the La Bombonera football stadium in Buenos Aires and he also came up with the nickname for the home of the popular Boca Juniors club. 

Born in 1895 near Trieste, Sulčič studied architecture in Florence and Bologna. Due to the rise of Fascism, he moved to Buenos Aires when he was 29.

Because of an ongoing reform of higher education in Argentina, his Italian degree was considered invalid, so he teamed up with two other architects, Jose Luis Delpini and Raul Bes, to open a studio.

Sulčič was among the first architects to use reinforced concrete in his buildings. He designed several churches and other buildings of interest, including the covered market Mercado de Abasto in 1937, which earned him a special award from the city authorities.

During that time, football club Boca Juniors were looking for designers to make them a 50,000-seat stadium on a very limited plot.

The Delpini-Sulčič-Bes architecture studio proposed the winning solution and designed the Alberto J. Armando Stadium.

Their solution was very steep grandstands, half of them forming a kind of roof over the ones below, which was a great architectural achievement at that time.

Sulčič was also the one to give the stadium, which quickly became very popular among fans, its nickname La Bombonera (The Chocolate Box).

There is a story that Sulčič got a box of chocolates from his friend on his birthday whose shape very much resembled the stadium that they were designing.

Sulčič allegedly brought the box to the meeting with his partners and started referring to the project as "la bombonera".

The nickname was embraced by the club's management and the public even before its opening on 25 May 1940.

The stadium kept both the name and the original shape all these years despite several initiatives for expansion. The club's fans always rooted for the preservation of the stadium's original appearance.

Later in life Sulčič also wrote stories and poems, and even held some art exhibitions.

He is remembered by the Slovenian community in Buenos Aires as an active member of Yugoslav and Slovenian societies.

Now the community is cheering for Slovenians competing at the Summer Youth Olympic Games, who have so far won nine medals, including two golds.

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