Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Casa Calise, Virginio Colombo

Virginio Colombo is another of Buenos Aires' Art Nouveau architects. Born in Milan in 1885, he came to Argentina when he was 21 and produced almost 50 buildings before his death in 1927 at the age of just 42. Two of his most iconic buildings are located in the neighborhood of Balvanera: The Casa de los Pavos Reales at Rivadavia 3216 and the Casa Calise at Hipolito Yrigoyen 2562, the latter depicted in these photos.

The Casa Calise is hidden in the backstreets, away from the tourist circuit. The facade features many decorative features such as cherubs, sculptures, lion heads, the use of different textures and ironwork, and has become one of the iconic examples of the Art Nouveau movement in Buenos Aires.

In order to build this new style of building that broke away from traditional architecture, Colombo purchased the land facing the Casa Calise so that nobody could object to his style. The building that now stands across the street was also built by Colombo and is quite different but incredibly beautiful. Such amazing history in the same narrow street!

 It is extremely difficult to photograph this building as the street is so narrow and there are trees that block the lower half!

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