Rafael Guastavino 's universe - The Bearded Butler
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Rafael Guastavino ‘s universe

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The architect of New York

Eccentric, adventurous, not very farsighted and with a literal quirk. Rafael Guastavino ,the Spanish architect who at his 40 years of age, decided to leave his hometown of Valencia to encourage an adventure to New York.

He did not speak any English nor had any contacts, but he had a system that changed the building techniques in The United States.

This immigrant encountered ruin and the contempt of his revolutionary ideas, but he insisted .

After patenting his inventions , he became the architect that beat the fire.

The Guastavino LTD company commissioned the build of thousands of buildings in The United States.

His signature, is the tiled vault, a millenary building technique used in The Mediterranean.  Guastavino was the first architect to export this technique and gave the US its architectonical identity in the beginning of the 20th Century  .

The terra cotta tile, manufactured in the Terracotta Valley in Boston, is non-combustible, and because the system is lighter in weight and was less expensive than other vault construction practices of the time.  Suddenly, these tiles were covering thousands of what they will become historic buildings.


Among his most enigmatic buildings we can find:

  1. The Oyster Bar ceiling in the central station of New York.

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2. Boston Public Library.

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3. Guatavino’s house a Moorish folly in Bay Shore

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