It was built in record time, visited by Neruda and García Lorca and was home to major international media: what an iconic building in Buenos Aires that is 90 years old

The Safeco Building, opened in 1933, was the tallest in Buenos Aires until Cavanagh was opened. Currently, important companies and various chambers associated with various industrial and production sectors continue to work in their offices.

This weekend marks the 90th anniversary of an iconic building located in downtown Buenos Aires: the emblematic Safeco Building, which is undergoing many cosmetic changes in the city. It hosted cultural figures such as the Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda And to major media companies such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the BBC. The poet visited her Gabriel Garcia Lorca. He witnessed the construction of the obelisk, the transformation of Corrientes Street into a street, and the flight of the Graf Zeppelin across Buenos Aires, in 1934, the year after its opening.

Its construction was commissioned by the General Financial and Commercial Company Limited (SAFICO), hence its name. Its construction, which began in 1932, took only 10 months and was carried out under the supervision of the Swiss engineer. Walter Mall. It was built according to a series of municipal regulations. The first of these was the decree that new buildings should be built on Corrientes Street a few meters from the building line, with the idea of ​​widening it to turn it into a boulevard, a work that could only be completed in 1936.

At approximately 93 metres, it was the tallest building until the arrival of Kavanagh, which opened three years later and would for a time be the tallest building in South America. Moreover, Safeco took only 10 months to complete, a true record.

according to Mariela Blancoauthor of the book Brick and cobblestone legends“The Safeco Building has established itself as an enduring witness – exalted and trustworthy – of the 1930s. A distinctive work within the long concrete silhouettes cut over the Buenos Aires landscape and is thoroughly modern. It had the country’s first triplex inhabited by many celebrities. It is Among them is Pablo Neruda when he assumed the position of Vice-Consul of Chile. It is said that DrApartment 231As was known, visits were recorded from the likes of Federico García Lorca, who developed a great friendship with the author of the book Racist poems And twilight“.

Thus ends this modernist block that resembles the skyscraper of the Empire State Building in New York.

At the design level, Saveco has German influence and avant-garde style: solid structures and modern technologies. Inspiration comes from New York’s towers that end in steps. There’s a clear look towards the Empire State Building, New York’s iconic skyscraper.

“With its rationalist architecture and Art Deco style (which earned it hosting the inaugural International Art Deco Congress in 2019), it set a trend in its early days – due to its height, technology and engineering – and today, with digital access control and elevators at the highest level.” Valeria Weil informationCEO of Safeco Building.

The facade is almost symmetrical and regular, with a body at the front on the municipal line of 10 floors, from which emerges a central tower of 26 floors, interspersed with gradual declines until it reaches a crown in the form of a stepped pyramid.

The building was implemented by the Public Works Company (GEOP), which carried out the reinforced concrete, stone, plastering and roofing works, in addition to the sanitary installations. This German-funded company was also involved in such magnificent works as the Guemes Gallery, the Central Post Office, the National School of Buenos Aires, the Obelisk, the Boca Juniors stadiums, and the Racing football stadiums, among other emblematic buildings in Argentina.

An old typewriter kept in an office. Important journalists from news agencies and media around the world presented there.

El Safico has always sought care, stability and low employee and tenant turnover. The large “family” of this building was historically composed of the main representatives of international banks and news agencies such as Reuters, German Press Agency, Agence France-Presse, EFE, BBC, Financial Times, New York Times and Washington Post.

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“Since its beginnings it has seen exposure for prestigious journalists and businessmen. The fact that it is located in a nerve artery with a large flow of transport has always played in favor of its reputation at the local level. He traveled across the border, and was known for his status, his class and his charm,” said Blanco.

At that time it had hotel services to meet the demand of those living in rented homes and offices.

It consists of 3 basements, a ground floor, 10 floors in a building and 15 floors in a terraced tower. It was previously a residence with hotel services and offices.

Currently, various companies operate their factories, including the Argentine-Canadian Chamber, a non-profit organization that promotes business between our country and Canada.

There are also professional accounting and law offices, and there are commercial buildings on the ground floor, such as a prestigious cafeteria.

Building entrance area

Regarding his offices, Weil summarized that “because of their construction they are very comfortable, with floors made of Slavonian oak. The currently available openings are hermetic double glazed, which also allows for maximum thermal insulation. LED lighting, with a kitchen, or failing that, given its size, they have a kitchenette and the units have fire detectors.

The building has an electric generator that powers all common areas, elevators and administration. Safeco’s offices feature corner windows that allow light into the tower floors up to the 19th floor, offering truly beautiful panoramic views.

This is how you can see the night view from the Safeco building

“In the frames and doors of the main entrance and the garage, and in two columns of the magnificent entrance hall on the ground floor in front of the elevators where steel was used, which is a resistant material that does not suffer from corrosion,” Will said..

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The facade between the pier and the upper first floor is covered with polished black granite slabs from Sweden. The rest of the front part up to the marginal level is covered with ‘limestone’, including the mochet, soles and lintels.

Green onyx marble and steel elevators are part of the ground floor hall

The exterior coating is “travertine” from the Andes, weather resistant.

The reception hall is entirely covered in green onyx, with black trim from Belgium. The two “hall” columns are covered in stainless steel between the black Belgian base and the capital. The latter is also made of onyx, and serves at the same time to diffuse light into the “hall”.

It has offices ranging from 30 to 150 square meters, depending on properties and location, and rental values ​​range from $8 to $14 per square metre.

Old phone. Office rental rates currently range between US$8 and US$14 per square meter

They have central heating, optional parking, concierge, 24-hour surveillance, camera surveillance system and access control.

“In these 90 years, the elevators have been renovated with the aim of always keeping the first line in technology and innovation. Nearly 800,000 US dollars have been invested for this purpose; this is the latest model of American elevators with technology based on the energy recovered/generated by the call elevators The prequel is present in other iconic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, the Pentagon, Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Shopsgate (London, England), the Empire State Building (New York), the Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai-China), and the Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia). In addition, Safeco has an innovative facial recognition entry system for which $90,000 has been allocated.

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“Today, modern homes are being built that once again choose the same concepts that Safeco has followed since its inception,” Weil noted. For example, floor-to-ceiling windows to make better use of light.

This is the crown of the estate in which the trio is located

The openings in the building are fitted with hermetic double glazing, which also allows for noise reduction.

Although the pandemic has impacted Microcenter, “people are returning to their workplaces today,” Weil concluded.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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