The Mexican Moment: The Rise of Architecture’s Latest Design Capital

Museo Soumaya / FR-EE. Image © Rafael Gamo

On a recent trip abroad, architect and urban planner José Castillo was struck by a conversation with Mexico’s tourism attaché in Asia. Mexican tourism, the attaché remarked, has changed; it was the ancient pyramids and sandy beaches of the country that once drew visitors to it. Today however, architecture and design—and food—prevail.

The issue of food may be of little wonder. Mexican cuisine has indeed become more popular than ever in both the high and low ends of the culinary spectrum, and food in general is not only what one eats for dinner but also a hobby and an obsessive conversation topic. Yet for local design to come to the same level of acclaim and reputation is, at any rate, quite astonishing. It may be, though, that food and architecture are not so far apart. These are both highly creative and productive professions, as well as ones with a rich history, a theory, and many layers of tradition.

NÜBA Restaurant – Club / Emmanuel Picault + Ludwig Godefroy + Nicolas Sisto

Courtesy of

Architects: Emmanuel Picault Ludwig Godefroy + Nicolas Sisto
Location: 36 Quai d’Austerlitz, , France
Area: 1,400 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Nicolas Sisto

American Apparel Showroom / Emmanuel Picault + Ludwig Godefroy Architects

© Ramiro Chaves

Architects: Emmanuel Picault + Ludwig Godefroy Architects
Location: , Mexico
Construction: Aaron Yepez, Carlos Tapia, Jose Luis Madrigal, Carlos Cortes, Gustavo Cortes, Konrado Angeles, Francisco Romo, Raul Carrillo, Ruben Silvestre
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ramiro Chaves