Wandering the streets of Buenos Aires, first-time visitors may be forgiven for thinking they are somewhere other than Argentina’s capital. Looking at the craftsmanship of buildings in this relatively low-rise city, a multicultural history is told through the city’s architecture. From the Renaissance-style Teatro Colón to the contemporary structure of Puente de la Mujer and the cheerful conventillo houses in La Boca, Buenos Aires’ roots can be defined by its vast array of architectural techniques.
Renowned for its fantastic acoustics, the Teatro Colón is one of Buenos Aires’ most important edifices, historically and aesthetically. The 1908 construction of this neo-Renaissance grande-dame was in the hands of three men over 20 years: Francesco Tamburini, who died mid-project; his pupil Vittorio Meano; and the Belgian-born Jules Dormal.
The influence of Dormal, who completed work on this vast 8,200m2 opera house, is most prominent thanks to his use of French neoclassicism in the decoration, but the Colón also incorporates Italian and German techniques, the latter obvious through its solid marble and iron construction. The entrance hall, for example, uses various styles: red-marble columns imported from Verona covered in stucco imitate the Botticino look, while its vitraux ceiling was undertaken by Gaudin of Paris.
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