Architecture news: Letter from Mexico

BNKR Arquitectura: Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico
(Image credit: press)

BNKR Arquitectura (opens in new tab): Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico
BNKR’s sunset chapel is made to look like just another colossal granite rock atop Acapulco’s hills. By elevating the chapel five meters into the air, the architects took full advantage of the views while paying respect to the site’s vegetation

While Mexican architects felt the economical crisis long after it hit the US and Europe, the country's economy is already showing signs of recovery. The temporary halt on construction, which affected everything from cultural centres to hotels and museums, has ended and new projects are now springing up in all corners of the country, from Guadalajara to Monterrey and Acapulco. New offices are also emerging and the picture for young Mexican architects is buoyant once again.

There's also a strong architectural culture in Mexico City, a culture infused by the spirit of working together on competitions and project design. We checked out the current scene, rounding up a series of new projects that define the new wave of Mexican design, with collaboration and cooperation pushed to the fore.

BNKR Arquitectura: Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico

(Image credit: press)

BNKR Arquitectura: Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico

(Image credit: press)

BNKR Arquitectura: Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico

(Image credit: press)

BNKR Arquitectura (opens in new tab): Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico

FREE Fernando Romero: Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

(Image credit: Adam Wiseman)

FREE Fernando Romero (opens in new tab): Museo Soumaya, Mexico City
FREE Fernando Romero’s brand new Soumaya Museum (opens in new tab) is a sculptural block in central Mexico City. Home to the expansive art collection of telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim (Romero’s father-in-law), the museum’s facade is composed of 15,000 aluminium hexagonal modules that wrap an economical substructure. A continuous ramp connects all the facilities, allowing you to make your way slowly through six floors of spectacular exhibition space

FREE Fernando Romero: Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

(Image credit: Adam Wiseman)

FREE Fernando Romero: Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

(Image credit: Adam Wiseman)

FREE Fernando Romero: Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

(Image credit: press)

FREE Fernando Romero: Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

(Image credit: press)

FREE Fernando Romero (opens in new tab): Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Productora: Casa Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

(Image credit: Rafael Gamo)

Productora: (opens in new tab) Casa Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Productora opted for three shallow rectangular volumes in its Casa Valle de Bravo. Stacked up in a zigzag composition, the volumes provide protected courtyards as well as large terraces that are completely open to Lake Avándaro

Productora: Casa Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

(Image credit: Rafael Gamo)

Productora: Casa Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

(Image credit: Rafael Gamo)

Productora: Casa Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

(Image credit: Rafael Gamo)

Productora (opens in new tab): Casa Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, Mexico

At103: Rehabilitation of Lecumberri Prison/National Archive, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

at103 (opens in new tab): Rehabilitation of Lecumberri Prison/National Archive, Mexico DF
at103 maintained and clarified the formal structure of the panopticon, seen in these renders, without using any allegoric elements. The introverted building is ’ripped’ open and provides free access to the gardens and open spaces of the former prison

At103: Rehabilitation of Lecumberri Prison/National Archive, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

At103: Rehabilitation of Lecumberri Prison/National Archive, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

At103: Rehabilitation of Lecumberri Prison/National Archive, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

at103 (opens in new tab): Rehabilitation of Lecumberri Prison/National Archive, Mexico DF

Arquitectura 911sc and Hector Esrawe: Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

Arquitectura 911sc and Hector Esrawe (opens in new tab): Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico DF
Working in collaboration with Hector Esrawe, Arquitectura 911sc transformed the facade and lobby of Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros (SAPS), the former home and workshop of one of Mexico’s prominent muralists, David Alfaro Siqueiros. The murals are now visually connected with the street to emphasise the public character of the museum

Arquitectura 911sc and Hector Esrawe: Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

Arquitectura 911sc and Hector Esrawe: Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

Arquitectura 911sc and Hector Esrawe: Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

Arquitectura 911sc and Hector Esrawe (opens in new tab): Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico DF

Dear Architects: Casa de Uno, Monterrey, México

(Image credit: press)

Dear Architects (opens in new tab): Casa de Uno, Monterrey, México
Each of the spaces in Dear Architects’ Casa de Uno are functionally independent, though the robust black exterior and gorges of light in the interior unite them together. A seemingly heavy steel plate door gives entrance to a ’cut of air’

Dear Architects: Casa de Uno, Monterrey, México

(Image credit: press)

Dear Architects: Casa de Uno, Monterrey, México

(Image credit: press)

Dear Architects (opens in new tab): Casa de Uno, Monterrey, México

Tatiana Bilbao: Botanical Gardens, Culiacán

(Image credit: press)

Tatiana Bilbao (opens in new tab): Botanical Gardens, Culiacán
Architect Tatiana Bilbao was brought in to set things right in Culiacán’s lush botanical gardens. The new master plan is based on an abstract motif of the branches of a tree superimposed on the existing pathways’ forms. Twelve rocky pavilions house the art-interventions of 30 different artists

Tatiana Bilbao: Botanical Gardens, Culiacán

(Image credit: press)

Tatiana Bilbao: Botanical Gardens, Culiacán

(Image credit: press)

Tatiana Bilbao (opens in new tab): Botanical Gardens, Culiacán

Fernanda Canales in collaboration arquitectura911sc: Coyoacán Cultural Center, Mexico DF

(Image credit: press)

Fernanda Canales (opens in new tab) in collaboration arquitectura911sc (opens in new tab): Coyoacán Cultural Center, Mexico DF
Fernanda Canales and arquitectura911sc are renovating a 19th century house into a cultural center in the South of Mexico City. A new glazed box stuck to the front façade prominently shows people the way to the library

Rojkind Arquitectos in collaboration with Hector Esrawe: Tori Tori, Mexico City

(Image credit: Paúl Rivera)

Rojkind Arquitectos (opens in new tab) in collaboration with Hector Esrawe (opens in new tab): Tori Tori, Mexico City
This new Japanese restaurant in Mexico City (pictured under construction) is another good example of how local Mexican craftsmen can realise digital design by simple means. The two-layer steel lattice covers the facade of an existing house and makes a reference to ivy growing on the existing walls behind it. Designer Hector Esrawe custom-designed all the furniture

Frida Escobedo in collaboration with Jose Rojas: Boca Chica, Acapulco

(Image credit: Undine Pröhl)

Frida Escobedo (opens in new tab) in collaboration with Jose RojasBoca Chica (opens in new tab), Acapulco
Frida Escobedo and Jose Rojas have brought an original hotel from the 1950s - designed by pre-eminent Mexican architect Antonio Peláes - back to life. Clean lines and strong geometric forms softened by a palette of vintage green and original terrazzo floors mark the 36 signature rooms in this new boutique hotel in the beach town of Acapulco

Frida Escobedo in collaboration with Jose Rojas: Boca Chica, Acapulco

(Image credit: press)

Frida Escobedo in collaboration with Jose Rojas: Boca Chica, Acapulco

(Image credit: press)

Frida Escobedo in collaboration with Jose Rojas: Boca Chica, Acapulco

(Image credit: press)

Frida Escobedo (opens in new tab) in collaboration with Jose Rojas: Boca Chica, Acapulco

Richard Meier & Partners: W Santa Fe, Liberty Plaza, Mexico City

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Richard Meier & Partners (opens in new tab): W Santa Fe, Liberty Plaza, Mexico City
The New York-based Modernist has a monumental new work in the offing for Mexico City’s Santa Fe district. Liberty Plaza, a towering complex of three 15-storey towers, will include Starwood’s new W Santa Fe hotel, with far-reaching views from its rooftop pool complex

Richard Meier & Partners: W Santa Fe, Liberty Plaza, Mexico City

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Richard Meier & Partners (opens in new tab): W Santa Fe, Liberty Plaza, Mexico City

Richard Meier & Partners: W Retreat Kanai, Kanai Resort, Yucatan

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Richard Meier & Partners (opens in new tab): W Retreat Kanai, Kanai Resort, Yucatan
Meier’s team is also overseeing Starwood’s new W Retreat Kanai (opens in new tab), a serene sprawl of geometric precision. The 180-room hotel will be the anchor of the new Kanai Resort on the mangrove-covered Yucatan coast

Richard Meier & Partners: W Retreat Kanai, Kanai Resort, Yucatan

(Image credit: press)

Richard Meier & Partners: W Retreat Kanai, Kanai Resort, Yucatan

(Image credit: press)

Richard Meier & Partners: W Retreat Kanai, Kanai Resort, Yucatan

(Image credit: press)

Richard Meier & Partners (opens in new tab): W Retreat Kanai, Kanai Resort, Yucatan