Palazzo Pandolfi houses the Argentine Embassy, known as ‘Palazzina Pandolfi’, and is named after its first owner, Marquis Beniamino Pandolfi Guttadauro, an officer of the Royal Army and Member of the Italian Parliament, an engineer and architect of Sicilian origin. The building is located in the Rione Monti, a Roman quarter characterised by bohemian and classical elements.
Its origins date back to 1873, when Pandolfi, on leave from the Royal Army, designed it for his family, his wife and three children. Work began in 1873 and was completed between 1874 and 1875.
The palace is in the stile Umbertino, the Italian declination of 19th-century neo-Baroque, structured on four levels plus an attic area overlooking the terrace.
It has also housed the current owners, the Argentine Legation in Italy (1880), since its origins. The building was purchased on 9 April 1889 by the Argentine Government for the sum of 500,000 lire.
The diplomatic headquarters owed much to the various ambassadors, in particular Fernando Perez, who also contributed to elevating it artistically, embellishing the interior spaces even more. Exemplary are the marble busts of two of Argentina’s greatest statesmen, Manuel Belgrano and Bartolomè Mitre, made by the sculptor Luigi Brizzolara (1868-1937), commissioned by the Federation of Italian Societies in Argentina and the Italian Directorate Abroad, as a sign of the historic friendship between Italy and Argentina. The busts were inaugurated on 12 October 1933, to coincide with the anniversary of the discovery of America, in front of the Embassy‘s main entrance.
Palazzo Pandolfi underwent restoration work by Vivenda. The action involved an initial phase of low-pressure water cleaning of the entire surface to remove surface dirt and the layer of paint deteriorated by time.
In a second step, the moulded cornices were reconstructed with the help of templates and material compatible with the original mortar. The original colours were identified thanks to the investigations carried out by specialised personnel, in agreement with the property protection body. The monumental balcony, which overlooks the entrance tothe embassy, was restored by a team of restorers accredited by the Ministry of Culture with targeted interventions, respecting and preserving the asset.
The façades were protected with Hystoriga Stone from the Airlite line, a product based on titanium dioxide nanoparticles, a photocatalytic water-repellent, formulated for the protection of building materials, capable of meeting the requirements of non-toxicity, stability in contact with acidic and alkaline aqueous solutions, non-penetrating, able to eliminate the formation of salt efflorescence and maintain the natural porosity of the stone.
The combination of the nanodispersion of Titanium dioxide in silane water repellents gives the treated surfaces the innovative characteristic of self-cleaning from the organic substances with which it comes into contact. The photocatalytic action develops only in the presence of light and enables the reduction of air pollutants, lowering the percentage of Nox and Sox, thus purifying the surrounding air.