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Thread: BUENOS AIRES | Beaux Arts & Art Nouveau

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    Default BUENOS AIRES | Beaux Arts & Art Nouveau

    Beaux Arts in Buenos Aires







    What we know nowadays as the “Paris of South America” is the result of the large collection that the Beaux Arts gave to Buenos Aires in the last 150 years. Since the last half of the 19th Century, this style took different directions, starting first with the epic public buildings and the huge palaces of the richest families of Argentina. Among these families are the famous Alvears, the Boschs, the Anchorenas, the Unzués, among others. A paradox of this new era for Argentina was that the country who received mostly spanish and italian immigrants also adopted at the same time the french styles throughout its whole history as the core of its architecture, in the beginning for the High Class and then for the rest of the country. So the first big palaces were born, like the Pereda Palace (Embassy of Brazil) and the Bosch Palace (US Embassy), among several examples that looked like small versions of the Chateau of Versailles on its interiors:












    At the same time, the big public palaces like the Pizzurno Palace, the National School of Buenos Aires, and the gorgeous Palace of the Post Office who was designed by the architect Norbert Maillart:
















    This french influence quickly spread to the other sectors of the high class of Argentina. A different kind of french mansions was born: the urban buildings with a larger amount of floors and glorious domes. These are some of the examples of the neighborhoods of Recoleta and Palermo:

















    But what I consider the most interesting moment was when the Beaux Arts style went straight through the middle and low class people. When it became massive, the french culture also went deep down into the people and the roots of Argentina we see today. From the bakery shops, to the bars on the streets, and the european touch on almost every corner of every city and town of the country. This was also the times where the buildings started to almost surpass those of France and Paris, with the arrival of new extravagant domes and designs, like the cases of the Raggio Palace and the building of Callao and Lavalle streets:












    ...and the famous collection of 4 buildings who were built in strategic corners of Buenos Aires by the architects Dunant and Mallet: the Caja Internacional Mutua de Pensiones (Corrientes and Pueyrredón streets), the Asociación Española de Socorros Mutuos (Entre R*os and Alsina streets), the Centro Naval (in front of the Pac*fico Galleries, in the Córdoba and Florida streets) and the building of Córdoba and Talcahuano streets.

























    It is interesting to see how strong was the influence of France in the world, especially on the architecture of the high-class. Though Buenos Aires took the french styles to the extremes, you will probably find french-looking buildings and mansions in the best neighborhoods of the biggest capitals of the world. So after the Beaux Arts shined, between the last decades of the 19th Century and 1940, a new style came into the scene to break the perfection and to let the imagination fly, giving the architects a new freedom to design: the Modernism architecture. That’s what’s comming on the next week, so stay tunned. Meanwhile, a few more images of the Beaux Arts in Buenos Aires:













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    The full documentary (on spanish) of the Beaux Arts style in Buenos Aires:



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    Art Nouveau in Buenos Aires




    The perfection of the Positivismo was the last crisis of the Western Human Kind just before entering into the world we are still living today. The Fine Arts and the good manners were a clear limit to the creativity and the artistic experimentation. And just like the door that Sigmund Freud opened to the society with the psychoanalysis, the Modernism came into this world as an explosion of creativity, where the freedom was absolute. Paradoxically, the Modernism, who was almost an anti-academic art, often acted like a new Academicism, in the sense that the new elements and details were sometimes systematized by the architects. Breaking the rules of the Beaux Arts was often a rule itself, creating an interesting contradiction. The Modernism had its own expression in many of the nations and empires of Europe of that era (19th and 20th century), being the most important examples those from the regions of Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the UK. In Buenos Aires, the Modernism came mostly in the form of Art Nouveau (french style), Italian Liberty, the Catalan Modernisme, and small expressions of the german Jugendstil and the Vienna Secession. As always in the city, the styles were adapted to Buenos Aires and some amazing architects like Virginio Colombo started to build some gorgeous buildings like the Casa Calise:









    …among other buildings like the famous Casa de los Pavos Reales (translated: “House of the Peacocks”), with sculptures of peacocks and lyons on its facades, and with some expressions of the the architecture of the Islamic Spain (almoravid architecture) and the styles of Florence in Italy:


















    One of the key elements of the Modernism was the curve on the designs, clearly seen on the glorious french Art Nouveau, who also came to the furniture in the streets of Buenos Aires:









    In other cases, the Catalan Modernisme managed to give a surrealist touch to Buenos Aires in buildings like the Hotel Chile, who looks like some sort of inverted pyramid:









    …and other exmples such as the Club Español (translated: “Spanish Club”) with its triumphal red dome, who also has some elements of the Vienna Secession style:












    Among the most important architects of the Modernism in Buenos Aires is Julián Garc*a Nuñez, who built the Hospital Español (translated: “Spanish Hospital”), of whom only the half of it remains today:












    …or the iconic corner of the Paso and Viamonte streets, with its exquiste rare dome:









    The Liberty (italian modernism) was one of the most-used modernist syles in Buenos Aires. With very rich designs on the balconies and the ironworks, the Liberty gave a lot of beauty to the city, from houses in the corners to big palaces, such as following: the corner of Corrientes and Salguero St., Paraguay and Talcahuano St., Hipólito Yrigoyen 3400, and the Castle of the Ghosts in the neighborhood of La Boca:


















    Following next, some other examples of the Art Nouveau and other kind of Modernism who were mixed with other styles (resulting in the eclecticism who is a trademark of Buenos Aires):





















    Among the french Art Nouveau repertoire of the buildings of Buenos Aires, my favorite one is the Bazar Dos Mundos, who preserves almost all its original details in its facade. The owner of this beauty was Roger Ballet, with his famos quote: “Sell more, earn less” (I gotta admit that I’ve never understood why he said that). This particualr building was also the beginning of the big malls on Buenos Aires, among the other two big palaces of the shopping: the Harrod’s and the Galer*as Pac*fico in the Downtown.









    Into the world of the dreams, the two trademarks are the buildings of the architect Eduardo Rodr*guez Ortega, a huge fan of the Gaud*’s work. He made the building of the corner of Rivadavia and Ayacucho streets, with its unique dome made of crystals and the phrase: “No Hi Ha Somnis Impossible” (translated from the Catalan language: “There’s no impossible dreams”):









    …and the Casa de los Lirios, a building that seems directly taken from Barcelona, and who also looks like a giant tree with windows and doors. Quite amazing:









    To this point, one of the icons of the Modernism in Buenos Aires was and is the Confiter*a del Molino, who is currently being restored to recover its golden atmosphere.









    And the most important building of the Modernism in Buenos Aires: the epic Otto Wulff building designed by the architect Morten Rönnow, who was with the Jugendstil style. This unique place has two exaggerated domes: one symbolizes the Sun of the Habsburgs and the other Crown of the Empress Sissi. That’s because this building was planned to be the Embassy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who collapsed in the First World War (just while this place was currently in construction). You may also watch the facades for hours, since it has a lot of sculptures of animals (most of them from the wildlife of Argentina) and greek mythological creatures. The Otto Wullf definitely shows how important was Buenos Aires within the new World scenario of the late 1800s and the beginning of the 20th century.









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    And the documentary on the Art Nouveau of Buenos Aires (on spanish):



    [youtube]E2Lhxyjkp0M[/youtube]

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