Elegant entrances of Buenos Aires
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
If you were to visit Buenos Aires for only two or three days, you may be left with the impression of a high-rise concrete jungle. But if you were to take an extra day or two to wander its streets, the buildings of Argentina's glory days - a century ago - will impress. And not only the grand palacios. Individual houses, charming reminders of an elegant past, can be spied between modern apartment blocks. Some of the old houses are beautifully renovated, whilst others, unfortunately, are a little tired.
House entrances may display art deco styles, and sometimes, art nouveau, or a mixture of both. In Buenos Aires, art deco embellishments were generally only expresssed on the exterior of buildings.
On either side of the entrances, the mortar lining the walls is called piedra París or ‘Paris stone,’ and consists of cement, sand, and ground minerals like dolomite or calcite. Piedra París was developed by Italian craftsmen to resemble the stonework of Paris buildings. Grooves were drawn in the mortar to simulate large stone blocks.
Grander entrances may have glass awnings, and some also have wall lamps on either side.
The ceilings are high, in order to enhance airflow in the hot summer months, and the doors and windows are elegantly tall.
It's worth a walk around barrios such as Recoleta, Palermo, Caballito, Colegiales, Almagro and Villa Crespo to enjoy the architecture that Buenos Aires has to offer. Here are a couple more examples . . .
Maybe when travel is easier again . . .
In the meantime, find out more about Buenos Aires architecture in my book, An Argentine in my Kitchen.