Study Tour Fellow Reports



Mexico City Modernism - Day 6 – August 9, 2010 – Across the City

User Not Found Aug 09, 2010
by 

Amanda Delorey

Today we cover a lot of ground – travelling to far points in the city to see some of the hard to reach sites. We started out by stopping off at the Towers of Satellite City designed by Matias Goeritz and Luis Barragán for Mario Pani’s Cuidad Satélite, a suburb built outside of the city’s centre.

Matias Goeritz and Luis Barragán, Towers of Satellite City (1957-58)

Mexico City’s Bacardi Plant houses some attarctive modernist structures. The Bacardi Administration Building is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s sole structure in Mexico. The building is composed of a largely glass box on top of a smaller one supported by two cruciform columns and four piloti on each end. The interior has no partitions and features two stairwells leading up to the upper balconied floor. Félix Candela’s bottling plant employs the architect’s characteristic shell  structure in the plant’s three hyperbolic groin vaults.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bacardi Administration Building (1958-61)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bacardi Administration Building (1958-61)

Interior, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bacardi Administration Building (1958-61)

Félix Candela, Bacardi Bottling Plant (1958-61)

Interior, Félix Candela, Bacardi Bottling Plant (1958-61)

Interior, Félix Candela, Bacardi Bottling Plant (1958-61)

Interior, Félix Candela, Bacardi Bottling Plant (1958-61)

Interior, Félix Candela, Bacardi Bottling Plant (1958-61)

We then visit various Barragán structures that offer excellent examples of the architect’s landscape design in the Los Clubes neighbourhood, which is a Barragán development from 1961-72. A fountain at the entrance to the development, which is turned off when we visit as it is the rainy season, is done in bright pink and rust coloured sculptural slabs. The San Cristóbal Stables is designed in a very similar style: thick pink concrete walls house the various structures and a similar fountain extends over a shallow pool.

Luis Barragán, Los Clubes Development Fountain (1961-72)

Luis Barragán, Los Clubes Development Fountain (1961-72)

Luis Barragán, San Cristóbal Stables (1967-68)

Luis Barragán, San Cristóbal Stables (1967-68)

Luis Barragán, San Cristóbal Stables (1967-68)

Matias Goeritz’s El Eco (1952-53) is an experimental museum of interesting proportions that exemplifies his idea of “Emotional Architecture” that we learn is actually a reaction against the prevalence of muralism and International Style modernism in Mexico City.  The walls of this exhibition space slope on very slight angles and floor boards sometimes follow the angles of hallway spaces, physically receding into space as thought the hallway were much longer, in order to offer a more spiritual experience to the visitor.

Matias Goeritz, El Eco (1952-53)

Interior, Matias Goeritz, El Eco (1952-53)

Interior, Matias Goeritz, El Eco (1952-53)

Interior, Matias Goeritz, El Eco (1952-53)

We finally stop off at the Electrician’s Syndicate Building to see an impressive David Alfaro Siqueiros mural, Portrait of the Bourgeoisie (1939), which fills an entire stairwell. The mural was executed by the artist and a large team of painters – unfortunately his collectivist ideas did not fully succeed as the mural is widely recognized as his own work.

Detail, David Alfaro Siqueiros and others, Portrait of the Bourgeoisie (1939)

Detail, David Alfaro Siqueiros and others, Portrait of the Bourgeoisie (1939)

Comment

  1.