The Museum of Running Water…and Toilets

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most stunning examples of nineteenth century architecture in Buenos Aires houses one of its most quirky and unusual museums El Palacio de Aguas Corrientes is gigantic and unmistakeable. Covered in hundreds of thousands of imported ceramic tiles and occupying an entire city block, its flamboyant style is in stark contrast to its humble orginal purpose as a water pumping station.

The yellow fever outbreaks that plagued BA in the mid-nineteenth century necessitated the building of a modern water delivery system. For this reason, the city of Buenos Aires employed Swedish-Argentine architect Carlos Nyströmer to design a building to house the tanks and plumbing necessary to carry almost 2 million gallons of water. toilets

The heart of the building contains what appears to be a cathedral to plumbing. Enormous tanks suspended three stories above are fed by pipes big enough for a fair-sized walrus to swim through comfortably. It is an industrial pumping station with the dimensions and and style of an Viennese opera house. It is to public sanitation what Michelangelo’s David is to sculpture.  Oh, and it also houses what can be safely described as the most comprehensive museum to toilets that you are likely ever to see.  If you enjoy unusual museums or neo-renaissance sanitation conduit, this is the museum for you.

Riobamba 750 – 1st floor/ Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-1pm/  Tel: (54-11) 6319-1104