Design Destination: Classic Re-Imagined At Casa Cavia In Buenos Aires

To refer to legendary Buenos Aires landmark Casa Cavia as simply a “destination” is to sell the multifaceted attraction short. Combining a restaurant, publishing house, bookstore, flower shop, and perfumery, the historic house is more of a cultural experience than anything else.

Originally designed in 1927, the two-story house located in the sophisticated Palermo Chico neighborhood was re-imagined as a multipurpose complex by creative director Guadalupe Garcia Mosqueda, and completely transformed by KallosTurin Architects. While the team successfully converted and upgraded the building, inserting modern elements throughout, they managed to preserve the historic site’s room proportions and details, capturing the essence of the original era.

Drawing inspiration from the city’s cafes of the 1920s and 1930s, the architects chose a material palette including white and green marble, antique mirror, leather, and terrazzo flooring. Complementing the interior beauty is the building’s lush courtyard garden and its central reflecting pool.

One of the major draws of Casa Cavia is its restaurant, La Cocina. Neighborhood local and Francis Mallman protégé Pablo Massey serves as head chef, infusing the dishes with the various flavors of Argentinian culture, including Italian, Spanish, French, and Arabic influences. Visitors on the hunt for traditional Palermo Chic fare will find high tea in Prospero Velazco’s patisserie, and those looking to imbibe can indulge in decadent drinks like the Vesper Grass (gin and lemon grass) and the Sauco Royal (rose, elderberry, and mint) from noted mixologist Ines de los Santos.

Casa Cavia’s renowned perfume laboratory Fuegia 1883 produces some of the region’s most recognizable scents from Julian Bedel, the “nose of Argentina.” De Babel, Casa Cavia’s signature scent, combines notes of warm wood, leather binding, and a hint of ink.

The real inspiration and core of Casa Cavia, however, is Ana Mosqueda’s Ampersand Publishing, located on the second floor. The publishing house not only produces books, but offers classes, conferences, presentations, and more, for visitors to exchange ideas and gain inspiration. 

Rounding out the array of offerings at Casa Cavia are Flores Pasion, the flower shop from costume designer and art director, Silvana Grosso, and a bookstore featuring works from the country’s top writers and rare and vintage books from Ampersand Publishing. 

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