Pink ochre, salmon pink, champagne, coral, peach? Whatever you want to call the color of Argentina’s glorious governmental mansion dominating Plaza de Mayo, one thing’s for sure: the Casa Rosada is getting a facelift. The Government announced yesterday that the vast revamp will take until 2019 to be completed and is due to cost no less than AR$ 285 million in total.
“It’s all about creating a 21st century Casa Rosada, adding value to the whole building and lowering maintenance costs,” Fernando De Andreis, the Government’s secretary general, told reporters.
The works will apparently aim to repair structural damage and make the government building more cost effective. “We must rework the 150-year-old building for the next 100 years,” the Government representative explained. “If nothing is done now, in 10 years it will be uninhabitable.”
The proposed project is set to include makeovers for numerous function rooms, the replacement of electrical, lighting, water and sewage systems, and the addition of a new set of elevators and air conditioners.
On the more innovative side of things, an orchard is going to be constructed on the terrace, which is currently home to an out of use heliport, for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables. The home grown produce will apparently be supplied to the executive mansion’s dining room.
The heliport, on the other hand, will be relocated to the terrace nearer to Avenida Rivadavia. De Andreis also revealed that the Casa Rosada’s Colón Park would be opened to the public during the day.
But that’s not all. The Casa Rosada really is going green – not literally, don’t worry, the pink is here to stay – with the installation of solar panels, which will account for part of the building’s electricity consumption. According to the Government, the state-of-the-art power generating system as well as a new LED lighting system are intended to send a message to the country about the importance of energy saving.
The presidential office, which has only recently been done up, will remain untouched, in addition to the Salón Blanco, Salón Eva Perón and the Salón de los Científicos. Even so, Macri’s official activity will be temporarily transferred to his residence in Olivos.
The work will begin next Friday (10th February) and will be carried out in three stages, the first of which will be finished by December of this year and will cost AR $44 million. The second floor, whose demolished rooms earned the nickname “Kosovo” (not sure that’s totally PC, but okay), will be tackled first, according to La Nación.
The contracts for the first stage of construction were awarded to the company Adanti Solazzi, after it competed with six other construction companies for the public tender. Architect Marité Berdasco has been put in charge of the massive project, and will be working in collaboration with the National Commission of Historic Monuments.
The second stage will cost AR$ 180 million and will take place in 2018. At this point, the first floor, where the presidential sector is located, will undergo refurbishment.
Finally, the third stage, reportedly costing AR$ 41 million, will see the renovation of offices and function rooms that are used by more than 800 people who work there daily.