Art Nouveau Architecture Is On Display In Buenos Aires Posted on 03 Jul 03:00 , 0 comments

Article by Nora Wallenius.  All photos courtesy of AANBA’s Vice President, Dr Iván Malesani. 

Casa "No hay sueños imposibles" (Av. Rivadavia 2009) Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

Puerta de la Casa de los Lirios (Av. Rivadavia 2027/2035) Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

“Art Nouveau” is one of those terms thrown around in conversation many times without the speaker nor the listener really understanding what it means. Is it an art movement? A way of thinking? A style of architecture?  A way to sound fancy at a cocktail party? Art Nouveau is all of this and more, and the Art Nouveau Association of Buenos Aires (AANBA) has begun to educate tourists and locals alike.

Edificio Otto Wulff, detalle de Atlantes de la fachada Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

Let’s start with the basics. What is Art Nouveau? According to Cecilia Salzano from AANBA, Art Nouveau was the first international movement that broke away from academics and historians in Europe in the 19th century. This movement (that was later extended to architecture, furniture, graphics, decorative objects and everyday objects) was meant to democratize beauty and socialize art. It was inspired in the shapes of nature and Japanese art, and its main characteristics are the undulating lines, asymmetry, exuberance, sensuality, and abundance of vegetation in design. Much importance was given by artisans to new materials and the display of great freedom, beauty and some kind of ingenuity. Art Nouveau has developed in different names around the world, for example, Modernism in Spain; Jungendtil in Germany; Sezession in Austria; and Art Nouveau in France and Belgium.

M. T. de Alvear 1571 Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

Art Nouveau arrived to Buenos Aires in the beginning of the 20th century by a mix of foreign and local architects who had studied in Europe who incorporated their local touch to buildings in Buenos Aires.  AANBA  was born from the desire to recover the beauty of the “belle époque” in Buenos Aires and give value to a time where Buenos Aires was the prominent capital in Latin America. As the tango and the “fileteado porteño” art are more popular than ever, AANBA believes that Art Nouveau in Buenos Aires deserves an identical cultural revival.

Casa de los Lirios 2 Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

Their mission is to give value, preserve and spread Art Nouveau architecture of Buenos Aires, spreading aware of the importance of the architectural heritage in the city that characterized the refinement and elegance of this period. Among many projects, the AANBA has appointed Buenos Aires as the Latin American capital of Art Nouveau; created the Art Nouveau Academy of Buenos Aires; and holds themed galas in different emblematic buildings.

Galería Güemes (Florida 165) Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

Feeling a little bit overwhelmed? Not to worry, as AANBA has created the “Great Map of Art Nouveau” with touristic Art Nouveau routes; tours guided by specialists from AANBA (on foot or by bus); documentaries (DVDs), and recognition plaques awarded to emblematic buildings. With tours ranging from Buenos Aires Art Nouveau Tour (by bus) to walking tours in San Telmo, Congresso, Plaza de Mayo, and Recoleta, there are plenty of opportunities to discover a different side to this beautiful city.

Cúpulas del Edificio Otto Wulff (Av. Belgrano 601) Art Nouveau Architecture in Buenos Aires

AANBA tours are available with prior reservation and available in several neighborhoods:

San Telmo Tour: 601 Belgrano Av. (Starbucks Café), Saturday mornings

Recoleta Tour: 829 M. T. de Alvear, Saturday mornings

Congreso Tour: Club Español (172 Bernardo de Irigoyen Av.), Saturday mornings

The Avenida de Mayo and Tango Grand Tour– Walking tour, Dinner and Show: Palacio Barolo, Av de Mayo 1370, Fridays at 4:30 pm

Buenos Aires Art Nouveau Tour (by bus): With reservation