It doesn’t take a design buff to see that Buenos Aires is an architectural wonderland and a melting pot of styles and influences. And behind the impressive gothic, Art Deco and other facades, there are some equally impressive interior spaces where every last design detail has been carefully considered, from industrial-style boutiques and bars to showrooms hidden in secret gardens. Come with us inside some of the quirkiest design spaces in the city.
The interior of Celedonio jewellery showroom; photo by Sophie Lloyd.
The multi-faceted architect, jewellery designer and artist Celedonio Lohidoy has a unique eye for design and his showroom and workshop is the stuff of fairytales. Concealed behind closed doors on the quiet Uruguay street in Recoleta, you have to first ring the bell and venture down a narrow passageway that leads out unexpectedly into a central secret garden of lush green foliage.
“As an architect, I’d known about the building for a long time and had my eye on it. I love places with magic,” says Lohidoy. “I love seeing the greenery of the garden through the windows.”
Up a narrow staircase, his self-designed space is equally magical, done out in ornate furnishings with big wooden cabinets displaying his intricate artworks and eye-catching jewellery that twinkles in the natural light, crafted from semi-precious stones, pearls and crystals. “I designed everything inside keeping to the eclectic aesthetic that defines me and also makes us unique.” An ethereal, romantic aesthetic that’s inspired by nature, insect motifs and his childhood growing up in the countryside in the province of Buenos Aires.
Uruguay 1223, buzzer 8
JT by Jessica Trosman
Inside JT by Jessica Trosman; photo courtesy of GrupoMassPR.
Buenos Aires designer Jessica Trosman follows a very unique design ethos that’s more anti-fashion than fashion. And her concept boutique and design studio for her latest JT line that launched last year perfectly reflect that. Occupying a palatial garage space away from the Palermo boutique circuit down the quiet end of Humboldt in Villa Crespo, the thick, heavy door opens into a stark, industrial-style space that was designed by local architects NET. The stark concrete floors and whitewashed walls allow the focus to fall on the monochromatic, deconstructed clothing that speaks for itself, merging artisanal textile techniques with a modern aesthetic.
Aside from the clothing, the main centrepiece is the abstract changing room, a work of art which resembles a mini house covered in mirrors. And behind the wooden cash desk, glass windows look onto the two-storey studio providing a look into what goes on behind the scenes.
You can also pause for a bite to eat at the recently-opened Yeite next door, a collaboration between Jessica Trosman and chef Pamela Villar. With unfinished walls and the simple menu scrawled in black pen across the mirrors, it has an edgy London-style cafe feel.
The interior of Victoria Brown Bar; photo courtesy of Victoria Brown.
Pass by during the day and Victoria Brown appears as a cosy little cafe and bakery with a distinctly British influence but, come nightfall, all the action takes place through the cafe and beyond the unassuming red bricked walls.
What was once a supermarket warehouse (and before that a dance school) has been transformed into a cavernous, uber cool cocktail bar, designed by local architects HMA. Inspired by the second industrial revolution, the dimly-lit space features antique looking machinery, ticking clocks and cogs, aged exposed brick walls, pipes running along the ceiling and other details that give it a factory feel. Meanwhile the Queen Victoria mural out the front and other references to the legendary British royal add a touch of tongue-in-cheek pomp and elegance to the mix, not to mention the fancy menu of expertly mixed cocktails.
Costa Rica 4827
The interior of Hotel Clasico; photo courtesy of Hotel Clasico.
This smart, newly-opened five-star hotel in Palermo Hollywood tells the story of Buenos Aires past and present. Says Ciara McGonigal, director of architecture at Estudio Zatloukal, who designed the impressive space at Hotel Clasico, “It was inspired by the classic French-style Beaux-Arts architecture as well as the industrial nature of its setting. It’s a juxtaposition of old and new.”
Look down and you’ll see floors crafted from recycled wood from old buildings that was sanded, cut and laid in a herringbone pattern. Look up and you’ll see antique chandeliers and ceilings made from pieces of printed tiles dating back to the 1930s. There’s also some bespoke leather backed chairs and mirrors, designed exclusively for the hotel by Estudio Zatloukal to remind you that you’re in the land of fine leather, and prints by local photography company Foto Ruta adorning the walls that depict Buenos Aires’ at its best.
And every floor of the hotel has been painted a different colour and guests can choose which colour-themed floor they’d like to stay on according to their mood.
Costa Rica 5480
Latest posts by Sophie Lloyd (see all)
- THE ULTIMATE CONCEPT BOUTIQUES IN BUENOS AIRES - February 13, 2016
- Lights Out – A Gourmet Theatre Experience in the Dark - October 30, 2015
- The Hottest Trends from the BA Catwalks for Spring/Summer 2015 - September 29, 2015