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Argentina: Floralis Genérica

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Floralis Genérica | Argentina | Americas

[Visited: December 2017]

Driving through the city of Buenos Aires on your way to a restaurant, a museum or other sight, the local airport, or somewhere else, it is almost impossible not to notice the enormous sculpture representing a flower at the Plaza de Naciones Unidas. In the daytime, a silvery structure, while at night its dark silhouette illuminated. Time has come for a closer look, so I walk along Avenida del Libertador and keep to a lower street where the endless avenida turns a little left at the Recoleta cemetery. By now, I am sweating, and after crossing the busy streets, I arrive at the Plaza de Naciones Unidas, the United Nations square. People are lying on the grass, enjoying the late December sun, and I walk straight to the remarkable sculpture right ahead.

Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Floralis Genérica rising above the park of the Plaza de Naciones Unidas

The flower sculpture stands slightly higher than the surrounding area, and it is only when I reach the top of the small mound that I see the reflecting pool in which it is located. The flower is now high above me: the steel and aluminium structure is 23 metres high. The surrounding park is reflected in the silvery petals. The curved shape guarantees a distorted view of the reality, and I walk around this work of art to appreciate the view from all sides. In a city that is mostly known for its classical architecture, this modern landmark work of art is a refreshing addition. A gift by architect Eduardo Catalano, it was constructed in 2002. Originally, the petals were supposed to open and close mechanically every day, but this function was disabled for years because of technical problems; it should be working again.

Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Reflection of the skyline of Buenos Aires in the petals of the Floralis Genérica

After walking around the circular pool, with bushes between me and the pool, I walk a trail to the base of the structure. I walk around it: the Floralis Genérica is not visible from here. When I reach a steep, open part of the field around the pool, I walk up and finally have even better views from below the gigantic man-made flowery structure. Its silvery petals contrast with the blue sky through which clouds sail. With a closer look, the reflection of the yellow-brown water in the steel petals look like impressionist paintings, with curves and ripples, art within art. The skyline of the city now seems to call me: it is time to leave this quiet place behind, and head into the elegant city again, imagining how my small reflection in the Floralis Genérica will slowly disappear as I walk away.

Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): The Floralis Genérica rising from the pool
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Reflection of water in a petal of the Floralis Genérica
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Reflection of the Plaza de Naciones Unidas in the petals of the Floralis Genérica
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Close-up of the petals with reflection of surrounding area
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Close-up of the petals with water of the pool reflected
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): Several petals of the Floralis Genérica in close-up
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): The Floralis Genérica seen from below
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): The Floralis Genérica stands in a pool
Picture of Floralis Genérica (Argentina): People in the park at the Plaza Naciones Unidas surrounding the Floralis Genérica

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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