The Edificio Kavanagh (Kavanagh Building) is located at 1065 Florida St. in the barrio of Retiro, Buenos Aires, Argentina, overlooking Plaza San Martin. It was constructed in the 1930s in the Rationalist style, by the architects Gregorio Sanchez, Ernesto Lagos and Luis Maria de la Torre and was finished in 1936. The building is characterised by the austerity of its lines, the lack of external ornamentation and its large prismatic volumes. It was declared a national historical monument in 1999, 'El Kavanagh, entre los protegidos', Clarin, 1999-04-23 and is one of the most impressive architectural masterpieces of Buenos Aires. Standing at a height of 120 m, it still retains its impact against the modern skyline of the city. In 1939 its facade received an award from the American Institute of Architects.
It was commissioned in 1934 by Corina Kavanagh who invested all she had inherited in building her own skyscraper. The Kavanagh building has a towering form, with symmetrical setbacks and gradual surface reductions. It was created from the outside in, adapting outstandingly comfortable facilities to the space available. The structure was carefully designed to be as slender as possible, in order to avoid unnecessary weight, and the design was also influenced by the city planning regulations. The design is an hybrid of a Modernism and Art Deco style American skyscraper, with a rationalistic approach, and is considered to be the apex of early Modernism in Argentina. It was at the time the highest reinforced concrete structure in the world, and the tallest building in South America for many years. As the apartments in the new building were aimed at the upper middle classes, no expense was spared in its construction, in order to insure a result of the highest quality. All 105 apartments contained the latest in technological advances, including central air conditioning, 12 Otis elevators, and state-of-the-art plumbing. Those on the upper floors have exquisite terrace gardens with views of the river, parks and the city.
Corina Kavanagh lived for many years on the 14th floor in the largest apartment, and the only one that occupies an entire floor. There is a legend that says that the shape of the building was designed as a revenge. One of the daughters of Corina, who was from a wealthy but not an aristocrat family, fell in love with the son of the Anchorena family, who were both wealthy and aristocratic. The Anchorena family, who lived in a palace on the other side of Plaza San Martin (today known as San Martin Palace), and had built a church next to the site of the Kavanagh Building, disapproved of the engagement. In revenge, Corina Kavanagh decided to build a skyscraper that would block the view of the church from their palace.
Catalogue of Monuments
Kavanagh Building at Buenos Aires government site
Article about Kavanagh Building
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kavanagh building