Spatializing Popular Cooperation
In early 1962, Fernando Belaúnde’s nephew, Miguel Cruchaga, along with his colleague and fellow graduate of the Faculty of Architecture, Alberto Cerritelli, presented an early manifestation of a directed self-build organized around what was now being called the concept of popular cooperation. In it they outlined an “origin and methodology for the emergency” they had discovered in Junín while conducting undergraduate fieldwork. That emergency was one that impressed the two young architects, but one that indeed had persisted for a long time before they arrived. What Cruchaga and Cerritelli found so abhorrent they characterized as a “primitive and desolately rural life”. Their solution was to develop a plan for community development rooted in the fundamentals of modernist architecture: speed, efficiency, simplicity and planning, all encompassed under the rubric of rigorous scientific procedure. Evident in their justification for such a plan was a stress placed on urgency: the project title itself, “Origin and Methodology for the Emergency”, transformed the quotidian highland reality into an emergency; their method placed a premium on short-term rewards and the most expedient procedures; and their impetus was a perceived need for a “realistically and immediately applicable plan for the abandoned populations of the highlands”. Moreover, the project introduced a prototype for implementation of what would become the Law of Popular Cooperation (1963), by making use of local notables and using them to help execute a work regime based on the minga.
The plan itself offered mock-ups of a rigidly centralized community architecture that would intervene in and condition every aspect of peoples’ lives. Sleak and low-lying, recalling the horizontality of Frank Lloyd Wright; rammed-earth walls and ceramic-tile roofs, a riff off of Le Corbusier’s later embrace of vernacular materials, the focal point was christened the “Plaza del Progreso”, a testament to the need for change and, as a large spiral courtyard flanked north and south by local bureaucracy, a model for how that change was to be implemented. Indeed, the spiral layout spatialized a pathology of social transformation—or, better, one vision of transformation—by orienting state and commercial institutions around the symbol of progress that was the plaza itself. The story of how to reach progress was then literally inscribed into the land. Arriving from the east one would first encounter a municipal office, followed upon entry into the spiral by a series of covered parking spaces along a road that flanked the plaza’s northern extreme. From there, the spiral curved toward the southwest to lead consumers past a collection of commercial posts that bordered the plaza’s western edge. Continuing along the plaza’s edge, the spiral described an ever-tightening curve—now back toward the east—that brought one past more municipal offices to a large centrally located cinema, where s/he would presumably watch the newest Hollywood release or, even better, the film made to propagandize the Cooperación Popular program, Los pueblos olvidados (1963). The subjectivities engendered along this pathway to progress were clear: the modern traveller became the consumer of goods, became the consumer of government services and then sat down to be a passive consumer of entertainment and propaganda. This ideal community also consisted of a sanitary installation complete with lavatories, latrine and sunken septic, a market organized around a central courtyard, a ceramics cooperative, a dairy, modular homes, and an albergue with carport and five detached bungalows situated on the banks of Lake Junin, all of which communicated the entrenchment of modern ideals by making space for the important daily activities of commerce, hygiene and leisure.
As a sketch of a real-world framework in which the burgeoning concept of popular cooperation could be articulated, Cruchaga and Cerritelli’s plan was instrumental. It expressed a new set of subjectivities, each corresponding to an imagined role in the ideal community, and spatialized them according to a hierarchy that, despite a perceived championing of rural people, put state institutions and propaganda at the center of daily life. It was, in this respect, an important precursor to the Cooperación Popular program launched once Beláunde took office.
 The work constituted their graduating thesis and enlisted the support of leading Peruvian architect, Alfredo Linder. It was later published abridged in the magazine edited by Belaúnde El Arquitecto Peruano. Miguel Cruchaga Belaúnde and Alberto Cerritelli, “Orígen Y Metodología Para La Emergencia: Un Plan Para Junín,” El Arquitecto Peruano, no. 294, 295, 296 (March 1962): 36–45.
 “ ... vida tan primituva y desoladamente rural imperante”. Ibid., 36.
 References to this abound, stress is constantly placed on maintaining “criterio científico”, “sustentado en principios tecnológicos”, and “investigación científica”. Ibid., 37, 39.
 “ ... plan de aplicación realista e inmediata para poblaciones abandonadas de la serranía”. Ibid., 39.
 Kenneth. Frampton, “Le Corbusier and the Monumentalization of the Vernacular 1930-60,” in Modern Architecture: A Critical History (London: Thames and Hudson, 1992), 224–30.