That section above is a section through the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Centre, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and that great spatial complexity is the result of its transformation from a Post Office and civil offices to a full on public realm complete with multiple performance spaces, multi-purpose halls, museums and displays, and amenities for 10,000 people who stream to it daily.
It’s a fabulous adaptive reuse, retaining all its original ornateness and extensive detail and ornamentation, while inserting decidedly sculptural elements to properly house the new functions. From the blue whale to the crazy huge cubist lantern that hangs above it (that is really a series of exhibition halls), that’s gotta be great to travel through columned halls and stained glass ceilings to emerge into the huge void/courtyard and be brought face to face with the belly of the whale. I also really dig the the creation of the multifunction space atop the entry tower, replacing the mansard roof panels with glass that not only affords an excellent view and experience to those within, but glows like a lantern at night to those without.
This NPR story has some great photos in a slideshow about halfway down the story that show that great mixing of the existing and the new. A splendid job of bringing new life to something already in place, bringing out its qualities in new ways, and finding a way to keep the existing excellence active and engaged in the city.