Centro Cultural Kirchner | Accidentally Wes Anderson

Centro Cultural Kirchner

Accidentally Wes Anderson - Centro Cultural Kirchner Enlarge

Buenos Aires, Argentina | C.1928

Photo Credit: Matías De Caro

Formerly the central post and telegraph office in Buenos Aires, this grandiose, eight-story building is one of the largest cultural centers in the world and a prime example of French second empire architecture.

Designed by French architect Norbert Maillart and modeled after New York’s City Hall Post Office, this building took nearly 30 years to complete and was finally inaugurated in 1928. After serving as the central post office and the headquarters of the Eva Peron Foundation, a charitable organization started by an Argentinian actress, it was eventually abandoned.

In 2005, president Nestor Kirchner proposed giving the palatial post office a new purpose as a cultural center for music, dance and art. Major renovations lasted six years, and though Kirchner died before completion, the center was ultimately named in his honor.

One of the most impressive renovations to the building is “La Ballena Azul” or “The Blue Whale” – a three-story blimp-shaped symphony hall built in the former package-sorting area of the post office. Renowned for its acoustics, this hall is the permanent residence of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Notably, the Culture Ministry of Buenos Aires operates on the assumption that the arts belong to everyone. They consider “culture to be a right” – therefore all activities in the Centro Cultural Kirchner are free including concerts, dance classes, kids programs and art exhibits.

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