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The Stoppel Mansion, much more than a museum

The mansion of Emilio Civit Avenue is full of history and beauty. Walking through its corridors and rooms is an unforgettable experience.

Art and Literature

 The owner of the mansion 

Who sent to build this mansion, which shines in the middle of the city, was  Luis Stoppel . Chilean born and German descent, had a very active life in Mendoza. Its relationship with our province is divided into two stages: the first that goes from 1885 to 1895, and the second, after living several years in  Buenos Aires  and then in  Europe , from 1912 until his death.

He was a merchant, landowner, politician and  had a high insertion into the social world of Mendoza  in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The commercial activity where he stood out was in a  carriage company. Between 1885 and 1895, Stoppel lived in front of Plaça Cobos (present-day San Martín Square). On his return from Buenos Aires in 1912, he settled in his new residence, in Sarmiento 1232 (now Av. Emilio Civit). In turn, he also owned a villa in the villa Potrerillos and bought land in different central areas of the city.

As for his political activity, he was vice-consul of Chile, an honorary title product of his close relationship with the Trans-Andean country and Mendoza. He provided asylum and assistance to every Chilean citizen who was in our province.  He was also a City Councilor. 

 The mansion 

Experts highlight that the house participates constitutively in the new image of the New City. Luis Stoppel  established his home in the west of the city , which, at the time, was sparsely populated. It is for this reason that he should have placed the drinking water network. In this area, different modern milestones from Mendoza enter into dialogue: the railway, the General San Martín Park, the gates of this same park and Emilio Civit Avenue.

The house was built under the  chalet typology, 23 meters in front by 60 deep. At the same time, the land consisted of 1234 meters covered and 2000 gardens, where the current Emilio Civit Avenue was connected with  Julio A. Roca street. The work began around 1910 and opened in 1912.

Through a gate, the public space was divided from the private, and to the left was the entrance for carriages and new cars.

The facade

The façade features two imposing palm trees and vegetation rationally located on both sides of the access path. The two-storey mansion is superelevated, which gives a solemn character to the building. The entrance is framed by two pairs of columns and in turn is advanced over the hall, which is released to the sides, with a curved movement towards the vegetation.

On the upper floor, the same tripartite solution is repeated, but more sober and retracted. Finally, the facade is crowned with an upper cornice with curved modillons, which is continued with the design of the grate, which are completed with two French vases.

It is important to note that the original facade simulates rectangular cuts colored with a pastel pink hue. This color is repeated in the design of the floor tile of the hall. Therefore, the facade proposes an eclectic play of styles, where the notion of  “Italian villa” prevails and allows dynamic visual games , between the orthogonality and symmetry of the building and subtle curved movements of forward and reverse over space.

The interior

The interior is established through a nerve center where the ground floor, the first floor and the roof, where a powerful light entry originates. Around it are established on the ground floor five rooms (possibly of greater hierarchy in their uses) and later another series of rooms.

On the upper floor, which is accessed via a staircase, the same design is repeated, where the rooms are placed around this center.

From a technological point of view, he presented one of the greatest advances in engineering and architectural challenges. The  earthquake of  1861   marks a break in the cultural and architectural history of Mendoza, where through the modern urban and architectural program, it is sought, through the reason, challenge and overcome that atrocious Creole past.

This building is made with a concrete screen and reinforced concrete structure. This solution is solved as one of the most innovative proposals in terms of anti-seismic construction.

The Carlos Alonso Museum offers two spaces with very different architectural features. The Stoppel Mansion offers a trip to the Mendoza past, to the luxury of yesteryear and the new building, a look into the future, standing in a present, in which we can enjoy the immense talent  of our artists .

Source:  Prensa Cultura Mendoza 

Publication Date: 21/11/2019

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