In Argentina’s capital, building enthusiasts will find architectural gems to delight them at every turn.
It’s worth visiting Buenos Aires for its food scene, its vibrant cultural and nocturnal activity, as well as for another of its main attractions: its historical architecture. When visiting the city, travelers will stumble upon buildings of different styles and ages that live side by side in total harmony, acting as windows to another time. Here, we’ll go over some of the buildings which are worth a visit so that you can plan your own personalized tour.
The Kavanagh Building
This 120 meter high skyscraper, located in the chic neighborhood of Retiro, was once the tallest in all of South America, and, even today, it continues to be considered one of the greatest examples of Rationalist architecture from Buenos Aires. It was designed by the architects Gregorio Sánchez, Ernesto Lagos and Luis María de la Torre, and declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.
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With 22 floors and two basement levels, this mythical building, which is famous for being designed according to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, is another of the unmissable stops in any architectural tour of the City of Tango. Found a few blocks from the Plaza del Congreso, in the Monserrat neighborhood, the Palacio Barolo is famous for mixing different styles: neo-Romanesque, neo-Gothic, as well as Hindu in its dome. Anyone who wants to visit it can reserve a place in the guided tours that regularly run.
The National Library
An emblem of Latin American Brutalist architecture, there’s a whole host of reasons that the Buenos Aires National Library should considered one of the city’s most famous architectural treasures. Anyone who comes close to this building devised by the famous Argentine architect Clorindo Testa will not only be able to appreciate the unique exposed concrete treatment of the main structure, but also enjoy panoramic views over the local area’s parks. Entrance is free of charge.
The Bank of London
Another of the city’s great examples of Brutalist thinking that shouldn’t be missed: what was formerly the Bank of London and South America, and today is a branch of Banco Hipotecario. Also part of Testa’s body of work, this daring, completely concrete building located in the central downtown area of Buenos Aires was born from a clear intention: to merge the interior with the exterior. The curved lines and windows help to connect the two spaces, with the end result being worthy of a sci-fi film.
The Otto Wulff Building
It was as a result of a partnership between the two businessmen Otto Wulff and Nicólas Mihanovich that this building of the Jugendstil style – a school of thought similar to Art Nouveau that emerged mainly in Germany and other Nordic countries – began to be erected on the corner of Belgrano and Peru, in the Monserrat neighborhood. It’s enough to simply contemplate its façade, which references neo-Gothic and Renaissance styles, to understand why this mythical work is one of the most admired by lovers of bricks and mortar.
Before finishing your tour, it’s a good idea to plan a stop in another of the capital’s architectural treasures: the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (abbreviated as MALBA in Spanish). In 1995, a group of three young Cordovan architects won the opportunity to design the building that would house the private collection of the Argentine businessman Eduardo Constantini. The end result? An imposing work of limestone and clear glass that started to win awards and international recognition from the get-go.