Puente de la Mujer 
Dique 3, Puerto Madero 
Buenos Aires 

Santiago Calatrava 2001

Donated by Alberto L. Gonzales and his family to this city of Buenos Aires, Santiago Calatrava's Puente De La Mujer (Bridge Of The Woman) is the architect's only work in South America. The 335-foot-long suspension pedestrian bridge is broken up into three sections, two static and one mobile. The central portion of the bridge was designed to rotate 90 degrees to allow water traffic to pass, with the two static portions connecting to pedestrian streets on either side of the dam. Most of the bridge's weight rests upon its central support, in which motors are located allowing the bridge to rotate. The bridge was primarily built in Victoria, Spain and taken to Buenos Aires in parts over five months. In its design, Puente De La Mujer is somewhat related to the Alamillo Bridge in Seville in its radical asymmetry and expressive tension, though its scale and angles are admittedly less grandiose and its asymmetry is reversed from the Seville bridge.

Calatrava is said to have requested examples of Argentina's typical music upon receiving this commission. As a result, the bridge is abstractly meant to illustrate a couple dancing Tango, the man towering over the woman who is leaning back horizontally. This, along with the fact that the surrounding neighborhood has streets primarily named after women accounts for the name of the bridge.


Porteños, as Buenos Aires residents are called, have long seen value in architectural monumentality and symbolism, as seen in their beloved obelisk, Casa Rosada, and even La Bombonera. Added to that list was Puente De La Mujer, which was seen as a symbol of a new era in Argentine history, and the new millennium. These hopes, however, were largely dashed due to the current disrepair that the bridge is in. Only three years after its inauguration the bridge has been closed for some time due to missing screws and slats of wood which make it unsafe for pedestrians. The city of Buenos Aires has never assumed responsibility for the bridge's upkeep, choosing instead to have the Gonzales family (who donated the 
$6 million bridge) to maintain it. The bridge is thus not operating, while its upkeep is sorted out. In the meantime, the bridge gives Puerto Madero a beautiful modern counterpoint to its brick industrial buildings which have recently been rehabbed to house restaurants, shops and lofts.

Bellon 2004

How to visit

Puente de la Mujer is located in Puerto Madero, only a few blocks directly behind (east of) the "Casa Rosada", which is the President's palace. Take subway (Subte) Line C to "Plaza De Mayo" stop, or Line B to the "LN Alem" stop, and walk east towards the dams.

Books and other web sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


3822878839_m.gif (13082 bytes) Santiago Calatrava
Philip Jodidio


3764356278_m.gif (7764 bytes) Calatrava: Public Buildings

Santiago Calatrava, Stanislaus Von Moos (Editor)

Comprehensive and priced to match (though well discounted at amazon)


Calatrava's own web site describes the bridge at www.calatrava.com.

See also the local area site at www.puertomadero.com (English site available), or construction pictures and blueprints at www.construir.com

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