Kavanagh Building Florida 1065, Plaza San Martin
Buenos Aires 1005
Sanchez, Lagos & de la Torre
Rising 33 stories at the heart
of the city on Plaza San Martin is the magnificent Kavanagh Apartment
Building. Expertly adapted to its triangular site on a sloping park facing
the Rio de la Plata, the Art Deco volumes of the building ascend to create
an impressive silhouette on the Buenos Aires skyline. The buildings
towering form, with symmetrical setbacks and gradual surface reductions
was a result of city zoning restrictions as well as the limitations of
using concrete. The design is a superb hybrid of Modernism, using the
forms of an Art Deco American skyscraper with a rationalistic approach.
Considered the apex of early
Modernism in Argentina, the Kavanagh was at the time the largest
reinforced concrete structure in the world, remaining the tallest building
in all of South America for many years. Aimed at upper middle class
individuals, no initial cost regulations were set up in order to assure a
high quality of result, with all 105 apartments containing the latest in
technological advances, including being the first building ever built with
central air conditioning. Apartments on the upper floors have exquisite
terrace gardens with views of the river, parks and the city.
The development and construction
of the building was financed by one of Argentina's wealthiest women,
Corina Kavanagh, who invested all she had inherited, selling off
additional property in order to fund this masterpiece.
The Kavanagh is one of Buenos
Aires most iconic buildings, and is still a much-coveted address. The
building is currently undergoing an extensive cleaning of its surfaces.
Serianne Worden 2004
How to visit
Located at the end of
pedestrian-only Florida Street, the building's form is easily identifiable
on Plaza San Martin, in the Retiro neighborhood of downtown Buenos Aires.
The area is accessible by many buses as well as by subway: take Linea C to
the San Martin stop and walk southeast across the park.
The building is private and can be
viewed only from the exterior. Visitors are not allowed into the building,
but you may step in to the lobby and ask the guard for a look. The answer
will most likely be No, but you will have a chance for a quick glance at the
lobby's luxurious finishes.