The presence of Mexican architecture on the global scene is increasingly evident and strengthened by the ambassador architects who constantly represent Mexico in international events and exhibitions. Within these samples, you are able to see a constant concern to show contemporary values that denote a sense of responsibility, reinventing their own identity with the urgency of addressing current challenges.
Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo Architectural Workshop: The Latest Architecture and News
After having previously photographed the architecture offices in the Netherlands, Dubai, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, the Nordic countries, Barcelona and Los Angeles, the architectural photographer Marc Goodwin continues the series with an exploration of some of the most recognized architecture offices in Mexico. With a set of emerging and world-renowned offices alike, the series offers insight into the lives of designers in Mexico City.
On November 22, 1988, one of the most important and revered figures in the history of Mexican and international architecture died in Mexico City. Luis Barragán Morfín, born in Guadalajara and trained as a civil engineer left behind an extensive legacy of published works, conferences, buildings, houses, and gardens that remain relevant to this day. While Barragán was known for his far-reaching research in customs and traditions, above all, the architect spent his life in contemplation. His sensitivity to the world and continued effort to rewrite the mundane has made him a lasting figure in Mexico, and the world.
Undoubtedly, Luis Barragán's legacy represents something so complex and timeless that it continues to inspire and surprise architects across generations. It is because of this that, 30 years after his death, we've compiled this series of testimonies from some of Mexico's most prominent contemporary architects, allowing them to reflect on their favorites of Barragan's works and share just how his work has impacted and inspired theirs.
Cuernavaca, located just a few hours from Mexico City, is one of the most visited places in the country thanks to its history, weather, and architecture. The city has eleven declared historical sites, such as the Cortés Palace, the Cuernavaca Cathedral, the Borda Garden, the Calvario Spire, Teopanzolco, Chapultepec Nature Park, the Cuernavaca Kite, and the Hotel Casino de la Selva, among others. For the past few years, Cuernavaca has experienced a boom in contemporary architecture, starting with the Tallera building which was built in 2010 by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo. The project gave life to the Siqueiros murals and all the history behind them.
In August I moderated a round table at UNAM in Mexico City in which I posed a provocative question: is architecture art? The participants, architects Mauricio Rocha, Gabriela Carrillo, and Victor Legorreta argued that despite architecture’s limitations, it is architects’ attempts to overcome them that makes it art. Meanwhile Gabriel de la Mora, an artist trained as an architect, drew a line, separating the two disciplines: “Art is art and architecture is architecture,” he insisted. Yet both sides were not quite satisfied with their initial assertions and the discussion continued, opening up to many interesting positions that pulled and pushed the interlocutors closer together and further apart with every attempt to give an explanation. I loved the discussion and I hoped we would not reach any definitive answers; the last thing we need in architecture is a consensus. It is our insistence on questioning that leads to new visions and unique solutions.
The following is my conversation with Rocha and Carrillo, as part of my City of Ideas column, in which we talked about their desire to make gravity feel light, seeing each project as a dialogue, their love for making decisions based on accidents, and their disinterest in being perfect. The architects strive to achieve a “meaningful silence” and they prefer to pay no notice to that line between architecture and art, the boundary that so few architects even dare to approach.