French architecture in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a city of diverse architectural influences, especially from Italy, Spain and France. We can recognize the Parisian flair of Buenos Aires in the San Martin Palace, located on 761 Arenales Street, inspired in the French architecture of the 18th century:
It is also visible in the Military Circle, former Palacio Paz, in 750 Santa Fe Av, which was the biggest private residence in Buenos Aires until it was acquired by the government in 1935:
Or in the City Government Building, which Assembly Room is an exact reproduction of one of the rooms in Versailles:
Likewise, Galerías Pacífico is a copy of the former Galleries Bon Marché in Paris:
During the decade of the 1820´s, the first French engineers arrived to this country, especially hired by the government. Prosper Cetellin projected the neoclassical frontispiece of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Charles Henri Pellegrini started the construction of the Colon Theater. Pierre Benoit was in charge of the urban layout and the construction of several buildings in the capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, La Plata, which Cathedral was inspired in the Amiens Cathedral. Benoit has been the architect who built the most during 19th century.
In 1869, Jules Dormal arrived in Argentina from Belgium. Formed at l´École Polytechnique of Paris, Dormal is the author of high quality buildings, such as the Brazilian Embassy, inspired in the Museum Jacquemart-André of Paris:
as well as the government building in La Plata, and the interior of the Colon Theatre, among other projects. Other outstanding architects formed at the Ecole who left their legacy in Buenos Aires were Gastón Louis Malletl and Norbert Maillart, responsible of great public buildings such as the Central Posts, the National School of Buenos Aires and the Justice Courts.
The French influence was also extended to the urban design, interior decoration and landscaping. In the latter, it was very important the influence of renowned landscaper Charles Thays. Among his projects are the Botanical Garden, Palermo and several other public parks, as well as the parks of private residences in several provinces.
The area around Alvear Avenue is like a piece of Paris transported to Buenos Aires. Its upscale buildings and shops make it one the finest shopping avenues in the world. The renowned and elegant Alvear Palace Hotel is one of the milestones of this French style neighborhood:
"Duhau Palace", 1661 Alvear Avenue, nowadays a luxurious hotel:
“Nunciatura” (Vatican Embassy), 1605 Alvear Avenue:
You can see more examples of the French architecture in Buenos Aires in the following buildings:
"Centro Naval", 599 Córdoba Ave:
French Embassy, former "Residence Ortiz Basualdo",1399 Cerrito St:
"Residence Ernesto Bosch", residence of the USA Ambassador:
"Errazuriz Palace", Museum of Decorative Arts:
"Hippodrome of Buenos Aires" (Palermo Racetrack):
As well as many public and private buildings scattered all around the city. To see more examples of French architecture in Buenos Aires, visit my French Architecture Photo Gallery