Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Architecture in Buenos Aires, Argentina

It is hard not to fall in love with Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is an amazing city known for its vibrant culture, stunning European influenced architecture, the tango, and its Jorge’s hometown!
About Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, and it is the largest city in the country. The city lies in Pampas (fertile plains); it is close to the coast and located right off of the great Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires is a port city; local residents often refer to themselves as Porteños.
About 3 million people live in the city of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires has a mild climate year round. The average temperature is 18º C (64.4º F), making extremely hot and cold days infrequent. Therefore, it is the perfect weather for visitors to explore the city in any season.
The city is nicknamed the “Paris of South America” because it has a European sophistication with a combination of Latin passion. Buenos Aires is known for its wide boulevards, grandeur architecture, incredible food, nightlife, art centers, and the famous tango.

Buenos Aires Architecture

Teatro Colón
No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without a visit to the Teatro Colón. Teatro Colón is one of the top theaters in South America. It hosts the most famous artists of national and international opera and ballet, and is acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world.
Exterior view of the Teatro Colón

The Teatro Colón was designed by many different talented architects. The original designer of the theater was Italian architect, Francesco Tamburini. After his death in 1891, the project was continued and modified by his partner Víctor Meano, the architect of the Argentinian Congress building. In 1904 Meano, had passed away and Belgian architect, Jules Dormal finished the construction in 1908.

The total area of the theater is 624,000 square feet. It has 7stories and covers an entire block. The main hall of the theater is designed as an elongated horseshoe-shape. The hall seats a total of 2,478 people with a standing room that can fit an additional 500 people. The main hall in the orchestra pit can hold 120 musicians.

The Teatro Colón's is a beautiful interpretation of classical architecture with an eclectic style. The basic aesthetic of the Teatro Colón is Italian Renaissance influenced by Neoclassical. You can tell it is this style, because of the triangular pediments, geometric proportions, and many columns. In addition to, the architects also wanted to incorporate French motifs in the theater like the mosaic tiles you see on the floor.
The foyer of the theater is extremely impressive with its luxurious high quality materials. The design elements included are marble, dramatic statues, and stained glass. The columns are constructed out of red hued Verona marble, Portuguese marble is used for the two lions that guard the central staircase, yellow marble from Siena, and white marble from Carrara can also be found throughout the foyer. The beautiful chandelier in the center of the auditorium has 700 light bulbs. This elegant chandelier casts light upon the golds and reds of the upholstery, carpets, curtains, and trim.

Architecture in San Telmo
San Telmo is a historic neighborhood known for its cobblestone streets, corner cafes, and casas chorizo. Casa Chorizos are traditional Buenos Aires homes first built in the 1800s.  They are long narrow houses consisting of a central courtyard with all the rooms surrounding the patio. The rooms in a straight formation against the property line give it a sausage like (chorizo) appearance. 
Cobblestone street with Casa Chorizo houses

What makes a Casa Chorizo house so special?
The layout of a chorizo house has a suspended ceiling that forms an air pocket creating a good insulation for the rooms. It provides residents with a great deal of light and ventilation to each room.  Jorge’s childhood home in Buenos Aires was built in the Casa Chorizo style.

Jorge's childhood Casa Chorizo home that was  built in the 1800s
He has many fond memories of the comfortable living space his house provided to him and his family. It had amazing cross-ventilation even without any air conditioning or ceiling fans. This was due to the building’s layout; each of the rooms had thick walls creating exceptional insulation. The transom windows above the doors and windows pushed warm air across and out of the building.  The veranda provided a buffer from the high summer sun, but allowed the low winter sun to project light into the bedrooms. The grape vines growing above provided perfect shading for the space below. Jorge is a passionate believer in architects designing buildings with comfort and resource-efficiency in mind.

Another great example of a Casa Chorizo house is the famous singer Carlos Gardel’s home. He purchased it in 1927 and in 2003; it was converted to a museum holding memorabilia of his life.  Today, visitors can take free tango classes and watch screenings of the tango legend.
Famous singer, Carlos Gardel's home in Buenos Aires

Carlos Gardel's chorizo style home turned into a museum

Interior view of the chorizo style layout

Argentines take extreme pride in their country and their beautiful culture. Buenos Aires is a must see destination for architecture lovers. It is a city that once you visit you will never want to leave. So what are you waiting for?


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