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Friday, August 12, 2022

Slovenian architect known in Buenos Aires for La Bombonera

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.

Origin of the name

The Estadio Alberto J. Armando (formerly the “Estadio Camilo Cichero”) is an association football stadium located in La Boca district of Buenos Aires. Widely known as La Bombonera (English: The chocolate box) due to its shape, with a “flat” stand on one side of the pitch and three steep stands round the rest of the stadium. It has a capacity of 49,000.

The stadium is popularly known as La Bombonera. It is said that the nickname came along the project of Viktor Sulčič during the process of development. On occasion of Sulčič’s birthday, a friend gave him a box of chocolates as a gift. After that, Sulčič used to go with the box at meetings with engineer Delpine and other persons that collaborated with the project to show them that the box shape was very like the one of the stadium they were designing.

Since then, the stadium would be known as La Bombonera and that name has remained to present days. In fact, the opening day (May 25, 1940) the stadium was named that way even by the club executives.

Nevertheless, there are other stories or myths about the origin of the nickname. One of them tells that Delpini projected the stands with a highly vertical grade of inclination to host 100,000 persons (which was the first project). The shape of the stands looked like the carts used to collect horses dung in the streets of Buenos Aires. Other version credits journalist Hugo Marini or broadcaster Joaquín Carballo Serantes (aka) “Fioravanti” for the Bombonera nickname.

Despite its distinguished nickname, the first official denomination came on April 20, 1986, when it was named “Camilo Cichero” in commemoration of the president under whose tenure the stadium was projected and built.[33] That same day Boca Juniors defeated Talleres de Córdoba by 4–2. Nevertheless, president Mauricio Macri decided to change the stadium’s name to “Alberto J. Armando”, honoring long-time president of the club during two periods (1954–55, 1960–80).

About Viktor Sulčič

Viktor Sulčič, also known as Víctor (or Victorio) Sulcic, was a Slovenian born Art Deco architect in Argentina. He was born in 1895 in Križ (in Italian Santa Croce) near Trieste, and died in 1973 in Buenos Aires.

After completing his studies of architecture in Florence and Bologna, Sulčič emigrated to Argentina in 1924. He joined two other architects there: José Luis Delpini and Raúl Bes. The two most famous buildings, projected by the team, are located in Buenos Aires: fruit and vegetable market (in 1999 converted into a shopping mall) Abasto, completed in 1934, and Boca Juniors stadium La Bombonera, completed in 1940.

Other works by Viktor Sulcic include a collection of water colours depicting South American landscapes and poems written in Spanish.

Viktor Sulcic was married to Anna Kiselicki, a piano teacher, native of Vranjevo near Novi Bečej in Serbia. They had two sons: Fedor and Hector Igor Sulcic.

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