Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
Art, Botanical, Urban design, Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, ONU, Buenos Aires, Argentina, metallic flower, aluminum flower, flower sculpture, Floralis Generica, Eduardo Catalano, aluminum, stainless steel, hydraulic mechanics, Walter Gropius, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, public art, mobile sculpture

Located at Plaza de las Naciones Unidas (United Nations Park), the flower’s surrounding park area is well looked after by the local government and the Tetra Pak Foundation. Its stark modern image creates a cool contrast with the neo-classic style of the law university behind it. Standing within a round pond full of water, Floralis Generica opens to reach a whopping 40 meters in diameter.

Made from 18 tons of aluminum and stainless steel that offers amazing reflections of the city, the environmental artwork was manufactured by a Cordoba branch of Lockheed Martin Aircraft. Throughhydraulic mechanics and a series of photocells, the 13-meter long petals were designed to open at 8am and close during the evening each day. Born in Buenos Aires, the late architect Eduardo Catalano was taught by Walter Gropius in Harvard and was a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the end of his career.

At the moment, the flower is sadly broken, but a park ranger kindly allowed us underneath the pond to check on the hydraulic mechanisms. We hope to see it fixed soon!

+ Floralis Generica

Photo © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat