Monday, 25 November 2013

What's this then?

I decided to find out where something important was, and what it looked like, by walking there and looking at it. On the way, I encountered this. It looks like a cross between the V&A and the Medici Chapels - not the Michelangelo one (although that is impressively weird in its own way), but the 16th Century ones with all the coloured marble. Plus palm trees and roses.

Walk, walk, wait, what?

Here's a stepped-back view, for context. It's on the other side of the street from the Heisenberg thing.
Just a minute!
After a bit of boggling, and pondering various features, it came to me that I had read or heard about this, or something like it, somewhere, and that it might have had something to do with drains.

The sign was not a forwarding address, as I briefly understood it, but simply means that the front door is on the much less important-looking street around the corner. Which was going my way anyway, so I continued.

Please direct correspondence around the corner

I knew the style was somehow V&A - it's covered in 40,000 Royal Doulton tiles. It's a water pumping station, the fruiting body of a vast mycelium of pipes under Buenos Aires.
Decorative tiles supplied to your requirements - by Royal Doulton
And they built it like this because  otherwise, the public of 1894 would have had nothing to look up to and admire, and might not have properly appreciated the engineering and logistical achievement of clean running water for the big city at the end of the Earth, or related it to the drastic reduction of yellow fever and typhoid.

Down with typhoid and yellow fever! Rejoice!

This is a way of thinking neglected, perhaps unjustly, in our times.

There is actually a guided tour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but I missed it because I was always asleep. There's also this statue of The Keen and Friendly Sanitation Worker Who Has Finished His Lunch:
Clean moustache and spanner, good to go
Palacio de Aguas Corrientes - Water and Sanitation Museum


Iain said...

Is this a deliberate tease? Nice tiles. Now, how is the dancing?

C said...

Sounds like a Terry Pratchett novel, to go with Making Money and Going Postal :o)

msHedgehog said...

@C absolutely! At some point, this stuff has to be sorted.

francoise_hardy said...

Sanitation is heroic.

msHedgehog said...

@francoise_hardy, sanitation is absolutely heroic. Ask anyone who hasn't got any.