Friday, December 31, 2010
Remembrance of Things Past
Entering Silvia Petrocca's Buenos Aires apartment is to walk straight into a cabinet of wonders. An antiquarian, her home reflects her history — her father is Neapolitan, her mother Argentine — with its Italian antiques, terracotta, weathered marble statues, Venetian lace and hand painted wallpaper, punctuated with rich colour. And like the antiques that she collects and sells, her home in the historic San Telmo neighborhood took shape slowly — over twenty years, in fact. When Silvia first saw it, she fell in love at first sight, despite the fact that it was almost destroyed. But the fact that it had been neglected for so long was what saved it — in a country that is all about the new, the near ruins of the building hid the original architecture, designed for an important Italian family in the nineteenth century. Silvia discovered high ceilings decorated with coats of arms, bunches of grapes and wheat — all symbols of wealth — in what was left of the stucco. And then she learned about its troubled history — it had been used as a hotel for the beggars after its abandonment by the owners, when yellow fever raged in the district, part of the story of San Telmo. But Silvia and her husband went ahead and bought the apartment on the second floor and the shop space on the ground floor. They did all the restoration work themselves — Silvia, her husband, and their friend, the artist Gustavo Godoy, who taught Silvia how to recreate the original patina of the walls. Now the house revolves around a large semi-circular living room which gives access to all rooms, which in turn face onto the square outside. Her home is now a homage to the beauty in the passage of time. More (in Italian) here on Marie Claire Italia.
(photography by Virginia Del Giudice/ Ag. Blob CG)