National Library of Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico

This Central Library will be located in the midst of very unique and dense residential neighborhoods of the City. It will be right at the important junction of Mexico City and its subway intersection adjacent to the old Buena Vista Railroad Station with its significant early modernist building.

At its macro urban scale, our team proposed this Central Library be part of the new major urban network linking parks, recreation and urban activities both through public transportation systems and pedestrian passages.

At its building scale, the design proposed fluidly flow of space in all directions from a mixed, unique, and dense residential neighborhood in the north, and east, as well as the immediate west of the old Buena Vista Railroad Station to the subway station in the southwest with its direct connection to the large plaza in front of the old railway station, and government administrative and office buildings in the south of the site.

The library building is raised up on pilotis allowing the street and its activities to flow through and merge with the new proposed undulating landscape. This fluid landscape mediates dramatic shift of elevation of the underground parking, the existing old railway station plaza, and the main subway station to the street levels. Visually, the undulating quality of the landscape is exaggerated by its partially paved surface creating patterns of movements, flows and speculating congregated types of activities for the everyday”s uses of its citizens. Various types of activities anticipated are skateboarding, flea market, weekend market, street performances, political demonstration, different kinds of exhibition, as well as other passive recreational activities. While this undulating landscape connects the interior landscape of the library to the street, its contour changed is designed to give a sense of demarcation for the internal and more private uses of this large expanding landscape.

At the north end of the site, the landscape marked its boundary with a gradual flood pool and an old power plant structure stripped away its surface, left behind only its elegant structure and foundations ” a folly in the landscape of this flood pool.

The belly of the building or the underside where directly links to the street level is proposed with crate-like structures dropping down at various strategic points along the length of the building. These crate-like spaces will house most public functions of the program such as meeting, exhibition halls, etc.

The theater program will be located at the most visible corner of the site where most people will approach the site from automobiles or subway and bus station. The theater building exterior is designed with surface materials, which could be defined as a large billboard signs while giving light and visibility for the interior. The theater building has a separate entrance from the main library for security control and off-hour uses.

Design Team:
A part of the team with Mexican Architects: Salvador Arroyo Irigoyen, Alessandro Gonzales, and Juan Carlos Tello