The Palacio Estrugamou apartments are a reflection of Argentina’s Golden Age

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“The classic and refined is sometimes associated with formality and excess. To me, it’s the opposite. In this case, the challenge was to transform that formality into something cheerful and luminous.” Said Maria Silvia Loitegui, decorator in charge of giving new life to this wonderful apartment located in a building full of splendour: the Estrugamou Palace.

The gates and their ample corridors simulate the carriages ‘ entrances to the French palaces

In 1924, when the construction was completed, it was a novelty: they were luxurious rental apartments for aristocrats or aspiring to be, eager to maintain a lifestyle but to reduce the excess in their budget. The Beaux Arts, or French academicism, proposes a succession of symmetries and ornamentations: wrought iron gates, capital pilasters, and slate roofs.

The Frenchman August Huggie and the Argentinean Eduardo Sauze were the architects in charge of the monumental project, at the request of Alejandro Estrugamou.

Architects Patricia Vailati and Gastón Bacque were in charge of the impeccable restoration work. “We assumed the commitment to respect the patrimonial essence,” they explained. We say: Mission accomplished.

They say that a Count previously lived here, who did not like the ceilings so high: so he raised floors and lowered the ceilings. Then came another owner, who began to demolish this restoration. Before he finished, he sold it. That’s why they found the apartment with some different levels of ceilings.

Everything was ruined. We rescued from the rubble the oak door. Floors-abandoned and plugged by dust-restored, polished and hydro lacquered

We painted the walls white, producing an absolute change: everything lit up

“We combined custom-made furniture with others that the owner brought from his previous home and much-loved objects such as the collection of canes and some paintings. We grouped them in the reception hall, like a small exhibition. ”

The duo of armchairs from another home was reupholstered in black and white, Harlequin type.

“It was a privilege to be part of this project that regained a conscious part of our history

In the dining room, the ancient chandelier was updated with black shades with gilding inside. Corduroy armchairs (made to measure by María Silvia Loitegui), are very comfortable.

The armchairs were upholstered in linen in the living room, and the roundtables were finished in marble and iron. “The tapestry, initially, was thought to be for the dining room. But putting it there was too obvious. We have hung it in the living room, which generates more surprise and completes an immense wall. It takes prominence in the environment and the subtle elegance of black and white. ”

To the left, María Silvia Loitegui. On the tables, roses and salvias in a bronze container and “The ninth”, a work of nine vases on a marble base (all Meenoush).

“Originally, the kitchen was in the basement, and everything was lifted with dumbwaiters. Today kitchens are the heart of the house. We want it comfortable and luminous, “says architect Patricia Vailati.

The best view the apartment has is of the French statute below: ‘ La Victoria Alada de Samotracia’, a bronze replica of which the original is in the Louvre Museum in Paris. No doubt one of the treasures of this vast building.

Where today the bedrooms are, previously there was only rubble.  The children’s rooms were a challenge because none of them was square.

The daughter’s room has a large mirror and hanging curtains.  In the boy’s room, there is a shock of green for the walls and cushions with hand-painted crests (all of MS Deco). A craftsman reconstructed the floors from the Slavonian oak of ancient wine barrels.

The big challenge was to restore the curved windows of Vitraux, because the previous owner had lowered the ceiling of the bathroom, and they did not open.

“Marmoleros, cabinet-maker, doll-polishers and restorers of Vitraux: In this rescue project, they worked with artisans of an admirable talent”.

When the architecture is so rich, so fabulous, decoration must accompany and enhance, never overshadow or compete with the original. 


Both the Paris stone floor and the sculpture were commissioned to the Martineau House. The set of armchairs and black iron table are by María Silvia Loitegui and the Bronze vase ‘ Luir ‘, by Meenoush.

The patio next to the bedroom is one of the best-kept secrets of this department: to take advantage, they put armchairs and a table. The green gives an inner breath.

Translated Source: La Nación

Photos: Crédito: Javier Picerno

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