Argentina Architecture 2

Argentina Architecture

The modern art of the Argentines did not derive any motive from indigenous traditions. The shores of the sweet sea, an obligatory stop to reach the fabulous treasures glimpsed in a prodigious atmosphere, no form of architecture – albeit rudimentary – offered the greedy conqueror. When the colonizers followers of Don Pedro de Mendoza set foot on the mainland and, correcting the slope of the ravine overlooking the Riachuelo where their vessels anchored, they stopped on the plateau, before their entranced eyes an immense desert plain appeared, so that they had to prepare everything to establish the ephemeral seat of the primitive Buenos Aires. Building material was not abundant, and earth and logs were used ñandubay for the defensive walls, earth, trunks, tree branches and reeds, for the few huts making up the nucleus of the future city. Dwellings, buildings intended for worship, “strong house” for the governor, were of a single type and differed only in size. These huts served first as a model for the Argentine rancho, then for the primitive colonial house. When on 11 June 1580 don Juan de Garay founded the city of Buenos Aires for the second time, in the Río de la Plata region, the use of brick, tile and lime still seemed such a bold step as to be considered impracticable. . The houses of the new founders, like the first ones, had walls of earth, and gabled roofs covered with thatch. Most of them lacked windows or only had one; were rectangular in plan, varas (just over five meters).

With the use of brick and curved tiles, the building structure begins to change and the house takes on a new and different aspect. It is wider, more solid and is modeled on the type of the Spanish house. The façade also changes, developing according to rules whose uniformity is only exceptionally interrupted. The most characteristic have, to the right and left of the door, windows that often reach the ground, defended by very simple railings. At other times the central section rises above the rest of the building and ends with a horizontal or curved crowning, more often tripartite, resting on simple or double columns, as in the Buenos Aires customs house. It may also happen that this elevation does not rest on columns or pillars, but arises from the level of the architrave, as in theof S. Catalina in Córdoba. This central section, which forms the major ornament of the Spanish colonial house, is decorated with the most varied motifs; hardly missing the rosettes and a final, consisting of spheres or cones, smooth or stepped. The most important civil building in the colony was the Cabildo built in Buenos Aires in 1711. It can be cited as a model of the building with a portico later adopted in the northern provinces. It consists of a ground floor and an upper floor, has a central tower and its roof is covered with tiles. What exists today of the Cabildo does not even remotely evoke the building that brought together the proponents of Argentine emancipation.

When the colonial house expands its development, improving its development, it is linked to the tradition of Rome, both because there were not a few Romanized regions on the Spanish coast, and because, shortly after the beginning of the second half of the century. XVIII, Buenos Aires begins to lose the appearance of a colonial city by the impulse, rather than by architects, of simple Italian builders. The elements of the colonial style are then followed by motifs taken from the classical styles, the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, the composite. Indeed, the analogy between the interior of these houses and that of the Pompeians is surprising; still today there are many buildings in which these similarities are evident which are not limited to the galleries of the first courtyard supported by columns painted in red, smooth in the lower part and grooved in the upper one, to plants and elevations; until a relatively recent time, the paintings that decorated the entrance were Pompeian – fauces – of all stately homes. For Argentina 2016, please check

The common house “which was used for everything and for everyone” subsequently increased its rooms, until its distribution approached the Roman plan. Today in Buenos Aires, the colonial house with tiled roof no longer exists in any of its transformations. Instead, they are found, and very characteristic, in several provincial towns, for example. in Córdoba and Salta, where some still retain a singular attraction.

Shortly after the middle of the century. XVIII the tiled roof changed into the terrace or azotea, the use of which became common after 1800. Sarmiento sees in this transformation the effect of the Andalusian population replacing the Biscayan one, and indeed the new terraced architecture with windows defended by curved and protruding railings, gave the nascent metropolis an Andalusian city look, smiling and fragrant under the clear sky that saw jasmine and orange blossom. Thus in Buenos Aires the colonial building with tiled roof, soon transformed, did not reach the decorative variety that it did in some provinces, and the richest and most decorated of the houses in the capital could not compare with some of those in Salta. It seems that the city was anxious to replace the rural architecture of the colony with new styles. Although already in the first decade of the century XIX there were two-storey houses in Buenos Ayres, such as those in via Perù 469 and Balcarce, the first two-storey house built according to truly architectural standards was built by an Italian in via Florida in 1830 and was an object of general admiration. When then the three-story house appeared and started to spread, a municipal provision detained these, which then appeared to be excesses, forbidding the erection of walls higher than the width of the streets. From 1880, three-storey houses spread in which the motifs of the Italian Renaissance predominate, then gradually buildings of monumental proportions were built, often surmounted by lofts for the direct work or for the influence exerted on the public taste by French and German architects. The most varied styles alternate in these factories, from Gothic to Louis XV, until the art of the avant-garde peeps out in architecture as well. Among so many forms and trends, today the nationalistic fervor aspires to give expression to its own style, based on Hispano-American elements.

Argentina Architecture 2