Posts tagged with "Mexico":

¡Perfecto! Williams Tsien & DBB to Design US Embassy in Mexico City

The U.S. Department of State has announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Davis Body Bond will team up to design a new Embassy Compound in Mexico City. The husband and wife team has been riding an enormous wave of praise for their recently opened Barnes Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, but just when you thought the last of the praise was proffered, in comes Martin Filler's rave in this week's New York Review of Books ("wholly unexpected," "ravishing," "dazzling"). That should give critics a breather till the duo's University of Chicago Logan Center opens this fall. In the mean time, the next twenty months will be focused on working with Davis Body Bond designing the new embassy, with a construction contract to be awarded in 2015. The selection is the first under the State Department's new Design Excellence program.

TEN Arquitectos’ Hot Plan For Tabasco, Mexico

If opponents of New York's bike lanes think bikers get the upper hand, then they'd be stunned to see what TEN Arquitectos has planned for the main drag of Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco, Mexico. Of course, accommodating bikes is only a small part of what is intended to overhaul the city's spine including an eye catching pedestrian bridge anchoring the project. The perforated, metal-clad boomerang of a bridge links two lakeside parks, the Tomas Garrido Park and Lake of Illusions. At street level the illusion takes hold as the bridge morphs into the shape of a giant alligator.  A large amphitheater sits at its base with the park serving as backdrop. The project is set for dedication next week.

TEN Arquitectos Revamps Amparo Museum

TEN Arquitectos have shared renderings of a museum project that Enrique Norten is working on in the historic center of Puebla, Mexico. The Amparo Museum sits in the heart a colonial quarter and though building envelope will retain its old world charm, a very new world facility will emerge inside. The museum is comprised of four structures dating from 17th and 18th centuries and for that reason its hard to imaging a project like this sailing through a historic commission in the States. But Norten said that it's no cakewalk in Mexico either, though they don't have community boards to contend with. "It's super tough. It's what we call the historic patrimony. All pre-Colombian through the 19th century, all are protected" he said. But the architect and his crew were able to argue that an intervention from fifty years ago left a large portion of the building open for reinterpretation. Like the new addition, the collection and temporary exhibits bring together old and new, with the pre-Columbian art rubbing shoulders with contemporary installations. The museum has also developed a bit of a reputation for using technology as a teaching tool, but their digital approach has grown a bit stale over the years. The renovation should bring them back up to speed. "We’re going to be using screens, computers, videos. All kinds of new media will be integrated," said Norten. The new addition will occur over the course of five years and the museum will remain open. A series of four courtyards have allowed the architects to float much of the needed space within the existing structure without interrupting much of the historic fabric. "You have to find areas to bypass or where there are certain opportunities," said Norten. The fifty-year-old intervention allowed for the more drastic changes, which made room for a large auditorium and cafeteria. Though integrating new buildings behind old facades has become a trend in New York, Norten said the process is old hat South of the Border. "We have been doing this for years in Mexico, because we have a vast stock of older buildings."

Pictorial> Soumaya Museum by Fernando Romero

Mexico City's new Museo Soumaya (named after the deceased wife of Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who owns the museum) was finally unveiled to the public late last month. The museum houses 60,000-square-feet of continuous exhibition space spread over six levels and containing over 6,200 pieces from Slim's art collection. Designed by Fernando Romero of the firm FREE, the building is shaped like a woman's bustier with a cinched waist. The amorphous structure is built with 28 curved steel columns of varying diameters, each with its own contoured geometry. While the exterior mass resembles a singular object, the skin is comprised of thousands of hexagonal aluminum modules. While the building itself is almost opaque--it has no windows--the roof of the top floor is suspended from a cantilever, letting in natural light. The result is a monumental parametric design offering a dramatic sculptural addition to the city once celebrated for its tradition and hand-painted, colorful architecture.

Snohetta Heads South of the Border

The Oslo- and New York-based firm Snøhetta has been chosen to design the new Museum of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guadalajara. They were selected from a short list including Shigeru Ban, DS+R, Smiljan Radic, and Mauricio Rocha.

Construction on the $35 million building, which was developed in collaboration with ARUP, is scheduled to begin in 2011. Located in Mexico's second most populated city, the museum will be part of the school’s Centro Cultural Universitario, which will consist of a cultural district adjacent to the main campus and planned wilderness preserves.

According to Snøhetta, the site's "unique hybrid of cultural and natural landscapes allows for a new understanding in Mexican architecture." As such, the design makes use of linked courtyards and gardens to maximize fresh air, open space and natural light. The irregularly-shaped courtyards are meant to echo both traditional Spanish colonial planning and forms found in the surrounding landscapes of Jalisco.

Acting as a bridge between the university's new library and auditorium buildings, the structure will be compact, keeping sight-line disruptions to a minimum. With trees peeking out from the gardens below, the museum's rooftop will be accessible to visitors, giving them another perspective from which to view the surrounding area.