Monday, August 15, 2011

Not your Average Office Building

I get lost pretty easily. I have to focus on the route to get from point A to point B.  During my first days in Buenos Aires, I walked on Avenida de Mayo many times, but if I looked up, it was usually looking for the street numeration.  Weeks later, looking for something else, I encountered Palacio Barolo’s website.  I called and reserved two spots for one of the tours that same afternoon.

You can inquire about tickets for the tour here.

At 7 p.m. sharp, our guide Thomas was waiting at the lobby, and my brother and I, along with only one other person, were ready.  Thomas explained that the architect of the building, Mario Palanti, was inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.  We took a close look at the details, the corners, the forms and realized that everything in the structure is a symbol that relates to the book or has a special meaning that makes it relevant to the architect.  Nothing is random here, which makes the building an incredible example of what the creative human mind can achieve. 

Can you spot the Mason symbols?

Nothing is random here... What do you notice about the wall decorations?

After taking the elevator and climbing a good number of steps, we got to the balconies.  The nocturnal view of Buenos Aires was amazing.  However, my favorite part was the light inside the dome.  A few steps higher, we were sitting inside the dome.  The huge light there was placed to meet the light from Palacio Salvo, which is Palacio Barolo’s mirror building.  This is the interesting part:  Palacio Salvo is located in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Sadly, Palanti did not achieve this goal.  It is an impressive idea, nonetheless.  Can you imagine sailing at night and being greeted at your destination by a huge arch of light? It sounds almost fantasy-like!   

Part of the view from the balcony.
The pictures don't do justice to the view...

At the end of the tour, Thomas invited us to see his grandfather’s office which looks as it was during the 1920’s. We were free to take all the pictures we wanted, so we did! 

Inside the office.  Detail.

Inside the office.  Detail.

Me trying to rock the 1920's masculine office look.  :P

 Now, every time I walk on Avenida de Mayo I can’t avoid looking up to rediscover Palacio Barolo’s dome standing out among all the other buildings. This is not your average office building.  Palacio Barolo is like a great piece of art that, beyond practicality, adds beauty and character to the already interesting city of Buenos Aires.

Notes for the Traveler

The Café Los 36 Billares - one of the cafe notables- is a couple of blocks away.  You could do both in one trip.

-  If you are into architecture, and like this tour, the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo and Teatro Colón are a must. 


Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Me encanta, soy fan especial de la Divina Comedia, me gustan las caras de la ornamentación de las columnas, me recuerdan la parte del libro donde dice que el caminó sobre todas las caras de la gente que estaba en el purgatorio. Great post!

Natalia y Jose Luis said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Gracias Dianalú! Estuvo muy interesante el recorrido. En verdad hay que poner atención para entender el significado de los detalles. Tu que eres fan de la Divina Comedia lo apreciarías un montón!

Unknown said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mr. Trino Tuta's hat :P

Natalia y Jose Luis said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Flavio Ja ja Asi es. :-)

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