Friday, November 15, 2013

Brutal Deco

OK, so I've posted two items on the brutalist architecture that's such a feature of this city.  That's not the only architectural brutalism going on though.  Buenos Aires is famous for its Art Deco, and it's been interesting to notice how brutal it is as well.

I feel like the Deco style is often thought of as residing to a great extent in the ornamentation, but in my mind it's also about massing, and BA is full of these extremely austere, unornamented, but extremely deco shapes.
The most famous iteration of this is the Kavanaugh building, apparently one of the earliest skyscrapers.

Another of the Kavanaugh.

Another shot of the first building, I don't know what it is.
A church in the Boca neighborhood.
Not sure what this one is either
(you know we run a casual operation here.)
Indoor example of the phenomenon...
...the rather fabulous cocktail lounge at the Plaza Hotel.
It's all very Deco but very unlike, say, the highly decorative Rockefeller Center.  My theory is that NYC responded to Deco in a more exuberant way, BA in a more intellectual way.  And I don't know what merit this theory may have, but I will tell you this: when I related it to my brother in a crowded bus here, a very intellectual-looking lady across the aisle looked at me approvingly.

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