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.

Rutgers Business School / TEN Arquitectos

© Peter Aaron

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: Piscataway Township, NJ,
Design Team: , James Carse
Executive Architect: Richard Bienenfeld Architect, PC
Year: 2013
Photographs: Peter Aaron

Clinton Park / TEN Arquitectos

© Alexander Severin

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: New York, NY, USA
Design Team: , Tim Dumbleton, Hale Everets, David Maestres, Mark Dwyer, Dieter Schoellnberger, Florian Oberhueber, Pedro Hernandez, Jeffrey Goldberger, Joyce Chang, Angela DeRiggi, Yu-Ju Lin, Jong Seo Lee, Veronica Kan, Yi-Ling Teng, Manta Weihermann, Enrique A. Gomez, Giovanni Sidari, Shai Turner, Daisuke Nagatomo, Masako Saito, Devin Keyes, Paola Morales, Jose Castañeda, Armando Rodríguez
Area: 120,000 m2
Year: 2011
Photographs: Alexander Severin, Evan Joseph

580 Carroll Street / TEN Arquitectos

Courtesy of

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: 580 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
Architect In Charge:
Area: 30000.0 sf2
Proyect Year: 2010
Photography: Courtesy of TEN Arquitectos, Marc Lins

New York Library / TEN Arquitectos

Courtesy of

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: Nueva York, United States of America
Architect In Charge:
Proyect Year: 2013
Photographs: Cortesia de TEN Arquitectos

In a neighborhood of high-end retail and luxury residences, this new branch library will fulfill a much needed role as a public space and touchstone for the local community and visiting tourists across from the Museum of Modern Art.  Despite the library’s site being predominantly below grade and set at the base of a new 40-story hotel, this design proposal transforms the dark, subterranean space into an inviting, open and light-filled civic landscape in the heart of Manhattan.

Monument for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla / TEN Arquitectos

© Patrick López Jaimes

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: ,
Architect: Enrique Norten
Area: 6,711 sqm
Year: 2011
Photography: Patrick López Jaimes, Luis Gordoa, Pablo Crespo

Amparo Museum / TEN Arquitectos

© Luis Gordoa

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: , México
Architect In Charge:
Project Team: Enrique Norten, Salvador Arroyo, Carlos Salas, Alejandro Solis, Marisol Moreno, Daniel Hernández, Omar Barcenas, Luis Farfán, Farid Hernandez
Client: Fundación Amparo
Area: 12,000 sqm
Proyect Year: 2013
Photography: Luis Gordoa

321 Ocean / TEN Arquitectos

Courtesy of / Hartness Visions

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: 321 Ocean Drive, , FL, USA
Owner: AGM Aria
Are: 78,000 sq ft
Proyect Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of TEN Arquitectos / Hartness Visions

Six Visions for the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan

Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source

Metro officials have released six conceptual visions that suggest how the historic Los Angeles Union Station could be transformed by 2050. Preliminary “Vision Boards” were released in a public forum at Union Station last week, and although they are not part of the formal evaluation process, they have ignited an immense amount of public interest in the competition.

In an article posted on The Source, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa described that this competition is “about preparing for the future.” As plans for the California High-Speed Rail System evolve, it is imperative that Union Station is redeveloped to meet the standards of a 21st century transportation hub.

Continue after the break to view each Vision Board provided by the six well-known practices shortlisted for the competition.

MUSEVI / TEN Arquitectos

© Luis Gordoa

Architect: TEN Arquitectos – Enrique Norten
Location: , Tabasco, Mexico
Completio: 2011
Design Team: Enrique Norten, Salvador Arroyo, Marisol Moreno, Carolina Angeles, Joe Tarr, Natalia Lomelí, Marina Muñoz
Structure: Alonso y Asociados.
MEP: AKF México
Lighting: Luz en Arquitectura
Landscape: W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Client: H. Ayuntamiento de Centro
Contractor: Grupo Orhnos
Area: 1,445 sqm
Photographs: Luis Gordoa

National Mall Competition Finalists Announced

Over 1,200 entires from 30 states and 10 countries submitted applications for the National Mall competition. Late last month fifteen design teams were chosen as finalists to advance to the second stage of this prestigious contest.

Hosting 25 million visitors annually, the National Mall will undergo an estimated $700 million restoration beginning in 2012. The competition has been broken down into three areas of restoration: Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Among the finalists to move on to stage two of the competition, Diller Scofidio Renfro, Weiss/Manfredi, and who are shortlisted for two out of the three areas of restoration, as well as Snohetta, , Ten Arquitectos, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson who are finalists for one area of restoration.

“Entrants were evaluated on past design performance, philosophy, design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity and overall resume,” according to a release from the Trust of the National Mall. The jury, compiled of architects, professors and other members of the architecture community, included Michael Gericke of Pentagram NYC and Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne founder of Morphosis.

The second stage of the competition includes interviews of the teams conducted by the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service, and the last stage will include proposed plans for the restoration. The competition will culminate in May 2012 and the proposed designs from stage three of the competition will be available to the public prior to the winning design being selected.

Follow the break for a complete list of design finalists for the National Mall Competition.

Mercedes House: Phase 1 / TEN Arquitectos

© Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA, Images Courtesy Two Trees Management Co. LLC

Architects: TEN Arquitectos
Location: City, , USA
Client: Two Trees Management Co. LLC
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA, Images Courtesy Two Trees Management Co. LLC

Hotel Americano / TEN Arquitectos

© Paul Clemence

Slated to open at the end of this month Hotel Americano, designed by of TEN Arquitectos, is the latest building to be added to the Chelsea area. The first project for Mexican boutique brand Grupo Habita in the city, the hotel’s roof top provides a clear view to the newest section (part two) of the impressive High Line. Easily distinguishing itself from its neighbors, the exterior of the 56 room hotel is covered uniquely with yards of chain mail.

Architects: Ten Arquitectos
Location: , New York, USA
Photographs: Paul Clemence

National Laboratory of Genomics / TEN Arquitectos

© Luis Gordoa

Architect: TEN Arquitectos/Enrique Norten
Location: Irapuato, Guanajuato. Mexico
Project Team: , Salvador Arroyo, Victoria Grossi, Verónica Chávez, Carlos Marin, Mateo Riestra, Ernesto Orrante, Ricardo Orozco, Alejandro Mantecón, Gabriela Puente, Dionisio Arras, Uvaldo Arenas
Structure: Colinas de Buen, SA de CV, Ing. Óscar de Buen
MEP: DIIN, SA de CV. Ing. Alejandro Borboa
Client: National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity
Year of Design: 2005-2007
Year of Construction: 2007-2010
Photographs: Luis Gordoa

CASSA / TEN Arquitectos

Hero Shot - from street jpg

Renowned mexican architect Enrique Norten (TEN Arquitectos) has been working in NY since a few years ago, with One York already built at SOHO & Tribeca. And with CASSA, his new 43-stories tall residential tower, he joins the city’s skyline.

The project includes 57 luxury residences and 166 hotel rooms, with interiors by Cetra/Ruddy, along with a 5 star restaurant, a spa, a private and lounge, and other additional services.

The tower doesn´t look to find its place at the NY skyline with any “fireworks”, just a rigorous orthogonal volume with a character given by the punctured rhythm of its windows.

More images after the break.

Habita Hotel / TEN Arquitectos

Mexican architects BGP Arquitectura designed this stylish hotel in City. The glass skin acts as a buffer to the busy outside, while converting into a lamp during night. Cool pool on the roof top.

Location: Lamartine 201, Colonia Polanco,  México City, Mexico
Architects: TEN ArquitectosEnrique Norten, Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta
Team: Aarón Hernández, Sergio Nuñez, Francisco Pardo, Julio Amezcua, Hugo Sánchez, Claudia Marquina, Carlos López, Martine Paquin, Adriana Díaz, Rubén Garnica, Miguel Ríos
Area: 2,500 m2
Design: 1996-1998
Construction: 1998-2000
Photography: Luis Gordoa, Undine Pröhl, Jean Luc Laloux

More images after the break.