Condemned to be Modern: Inside Mexico’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

’s pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale is centered on Octavio Paz’s reflections on the contraposition between tradition and modernity. Echoing the request from Rem Koolhaas that the national pavilions focus on the theme Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014, Paz’s writings establish that “…modernity, for the last one hundred years has been our style. It is the universal style. Wanting to be modern seems like madness, we are condemned to be modern.”

Architects Julio Gaeta and Luby Springall use this reflection as the starting point for their curatorial project, designing the pavilion to show two story paths: one traditional and one modern. This concept is executed through the selection of works emblematic of Mexican modernity juxtaposed with works, events and that influence architecture.

Check out photos from the pavilion along with the official text from the curators after the break.

Aguazul 162 / Laboratorio de Arquitectura [mk]

© Diego Cosme

Architects: Laboratorio de Arquitectura [mk]
Location: Avenida , Santa Rosa Jáuregui, , Querétaro,
Project Architects: Ana Martin, Juan Carlos Kelly, Paulina Moreno
Project Area: 220 sqm
Photographs: Diego Cosme

Terrace-House in El Limón / Villar Watty Arquitectos

© Diego Serratos

Architects: Villar Watty Arquitectos
Location: ,
Project Architects: Gerardo Villar Watty y Alberto Villar Watty
Design Team: Daniel Villanueva, Paola García
Project Area: 263 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Diego Serratos

Puerto Vallarta Seafront / Trama Arquitectos

© Alejandro Cartagena

Architects: Trama Arquitectos
Location: Puerto Vallarta, JAL,
Architect In Charge: Jaime Castiello, Héctor Santana, Edgardo Sandoval y Carlos Haro
Co Workers: Livier Miramontes, Manuel Haro, Carmen Espinosa, Jorge Ignacio Gutiérrez, Jaime Castiello Gómez Verea, Fernando Castiello, Carlos Rodríguez, Miguel Martínez, Héctor Lozano, Beatriz Orozco, Mario Rodríguez, Hugo Yáñez, Susana Cortés, Juan Carlos Barriga
Landscape: West8 urban design & landscape architecture + Estudio 3.14
Urban Furniture: West8 urban design & Estudio 3.14
Structural: Constructora Cautín S.A. de C.V., Ing. Roberto Dávalos
Construction: Géminis Internacional S.A. de C.V., Vifeg S.A. de C.V. y Duo S.A de C.V
Area: 20000.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Alejandro Cartagena

Zacatitos 04 / Campos Leckie Studio

© John Sinal

Architects: Campos Leckie Studio
Location: Baja California Sur,
Area: 2,400 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: John Sinal

Nuevo Continente School / Miguel Montor

© Onnis Luque

Architects: Miguel Montor
Location: Querétaro,
Area: 2,500 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Onnis Luque

Zacatitos 02 / Campos Leckie Studio

© John Sinal

Architects: Campos Leckie Studio
Location: Baja California Sur, Mexico
Area: 1,600 sqft
Year: 20211
Photographs: John Sinal

Zacatitos 03 / Campos Leckie Studio

© John Sinal

Architects: Campos Leckie Studio
Location: Baja California Sur, Mexico
Area: 3,800 sqft
Year: 2011
Photographs: John Sinal

Pre-School Building / Miguel Montor

© Moritz Bernoully

Architects: Miguel Montor
Location: Zaragoza 61, Colonia la Capilla, , Mexico
Area: 1,700 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Moritz Bernoully, Onnis Luque

Mexico’s 2014 Public Interest Design Award Winners

Participatory design and community construction of a microregional center for technological innovation. Image Courtesy of PID

Effective, excellent, inclusive, impactful, systematic, and participatory – these were the six criteria jurors considered when selecting the winners of this year’s Public Interest Design Mexico Awards. On September 11th and 12th in , the six winning projects will be presented to the public. To learn more about these exemplary projects that serve the public realm, keep reading after the break.

Campos Leckie Studio: Adapting Materials Across Contexts

, BC Based Architects Campos Lecki – The Zacatitos 03 House. Image © John Sinal

In the following interview, presented by ArchDaily Materials and originally published by Sixty7 Architecture Road, Canadian firm Campos Leckie Studio defines their process for designing site-specific, beautiful architecture that speaks for itself. Enjoy the firm’s stunning projects and read the full interview after the break. 

We asked Michael Leckie, one of the principals of Vancouver-based Campos Leckie Studio, about the importance of discovery in design and the textural differences between projects. Your website states that your firm is committed to a rigorous process of discovery. How do you explain that to clients?

Process is extremely important in our work. When we meet with clients we do not immediately provide napkin sketches or an indication of what form the work will ultimately take on. Rather, we focus on the formulation of the ‘design problem’ and the conditions that establish the basis for exploration and discovery. These contextual starting points include the site, program, materiality, budget, as well as cultural reference points. This is challenging for some clients, as our culture generally conditions people to expect to see the final product before they commit to something.

Gleason House Building / Trama Arquitectos

© Mito Covarrubias

Architects: Trama Arquitectos
Location: Americana, Guadalajara, JAL,
Architectural Project: Jaime Castiello Chávez, Héctor Santana, Edgardo Sandoval, Carlos Haro, Jorge Ignacio Gutiérrez, Livier Miramontes, Héctor Lozano, Mario Rodríguez, Beatriz Orozco, Carmen Espinosa, Manuel Haro, Jaime Castiello Gómez Verea, Fernando Castiello, Miguel Martínez, Hugo Yáñez Ochoa, Susana Cortés, Juan Carlos Barriga
Area: 875 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Mito Covarrubias, Courtesy of

Apartment in Bosques de las Lomas / Taller David Dana Arquitectura

© Alessandro Bo

Architects: Taller David Dana Arquitectura
Location: Cuajimalpa, , Mexico
Area: 267 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Alessandro Bo

Hegel Apartment / Arquitectura en Movimiento Workshop

© Rafael Gamo

Architects: Arquitectura en Movimiento Workshop
Location: Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, City,
Project Area: 90 sqm
Photographs: Rafael Gamo

Comercio 117 / ARCHETONIC

© Rafael Gamo

Architects: ARCHETONIC
Location: Comercio, Escandón, Miguel Hidalgo, , Federal District,
Project Architect: Jacobo Micha Mizrahi
Project Area: 1883.0 m2
Project Year: 2012
Photography: Rafael Gamo

RedHouse / Hans Kabsch Vela

© Onnis Luque R.

Architects: Hans Kabsch Vela
Location: Tulipanes, Tapachula, Chiapas,
Collaborator: Rosa Marina Maldonado Mendez
Project Area: 243 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Onnis Luque R.

Ming House / LGZ Taller de Arquitectura

© Jorge Taboada

Architects: LGZ Taller de Arquitectura
Location: , Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Architect In Charge: Lena de la Torre, Oscar Fdo. Mendoza L
Area: 257 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Jorge Taboada

Prado House / CoA arquitectura + Estudio Macías Peredo

© Jaime Navarro

Architects: CoA arquitectura + Estudio Macías Peredo
Location: , JAL, Mexico
Architect In Charge: Diego Torres Guízar, Francisco Gutiérrez Peregrina, Salvador Macías Corona, Magui Peredo Arenas
Area: 195 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Jaime Navarro, Francisco Gutiérrez Peregrina