The Making of Mexican Modernist Architecture  book cover
1st Edition

The Making of Mexican Modernist Architecture

  • Available for pre-order on April 12, 2023. Item will ship after May 3, 2023
ISBN 9781032332741
May 3, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
336 Pages 195 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Mexico underwent tremendous growth and transition during the twentieth century, transforming it from a rural country into an urban nation that formed part of a much wider global process of modernisation/westernisation. During this time, Mexican Modernist architecture came into its own, becoming recognised both nationally and internationally as a paradigmatic example of this new design approach. However, relatively little is still known about how Mexican Modernism was able to become a mature and confident movement so quickly, one with such strongly held convictions that they are still very much alive and well today, and which are still shaping and influencing Mexico´s architectural forms, lifestyles, values and ideals. This book examines those elements that contributed to its making during the twentieth century. In so doing, it considers Mexican Modernism to be a direct product of its socio-cultural settings and so uses a cultural studies approach to identify the key drivers, or ‘power structures’, which were involved. Five power structures are investigated which relate to academic, economic/political, social, gender, and post-colonial status. Such power structures are analysed by looking in close detail at 13 of the most famous Mexican architects, documenting their ideas through their own verbal testimonies and their most interesting buildings. Those architects include: José Villagrán García, Luis Barragán and Juan O’Gorman from the first generation; Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Agustín Hernández and Abraham Zabludovsky from the second; Carlos Mijares, Ricardo Legorreta and Juan José Díaz Infante from the third; and finally, Enrique Norten, Clara de Buen, Alberto Kalach and Javier Sordo Madaleno from the fourth generation. This book’s uniqueness lies in revealing the inter-relationships of the power structures that have controlled and constrained what Mexican architecture could achieve, offering a dissection of what happened within the profession. The book also criticizes the persistence of these same power structures today, and it voices the urgent need for a new kind of architecture for the future. It is essential reading for anyone studying Mexican architecture.

Table of Contents

1. Mexican Architecture as an Academic Discipline.  Academic Discourse.  Architectural Schools.  Architectural Practice.  The Role of Architectural Guilds and Associations.  Architecture as a System of Meaning.  Written Architecture.  Architectural Classification Systems.  Architectural Treatises. Photographed Architecture.  Architects and their Authorship.  The First Generation (1900–14). The Second Generation (1915–29).  The Third Generation (1930–44).  The Fourth Generation (1945–60).  2. Mexican Architecture and Economic and Political Power.  Architecture and Power.  Main Power Groups in Mexico.  Twentieth-Century Mexican Economic Models.  Influence of Economic Models on Twentieth-Century Mexican Architecture.  Power in Twentieth-Century Architectural Modernism in Mexico.  Hospitals.  Museums.  Hotels.  Transportation Buildings.  Banks.  State Buildings.  Private and Public Office Buildings.  Public and Private Schools.  Religious Architecture.  3. Mexican Architecture as Economic Status in a System of Consumption.  Mexican Architecture and Consumption.  Mexican Architecture as a Sign within the Consumption Cycle.  The Image of Mexican Architects.  Mexican Architects and their Social Status.  Mexican Architects and their Social Image.  Spatial and Social Marginalization in Mexico City.  4. Mexican Architecture and Gender.  Mexican Architecture as a Gendered Discipline.  Architecture an Artefact of Gender Differentiation.  Women´s Place in Mexican Architecture.  Men´s Place in Mexican Architecture.  5. Mexican Architecture and Postcolonialism.  Mexico's Postcolonial Identity.  Mimicry and Dissimulation.  Hybridity and Simulation.  Emotional Architecture or Magical Realism.  6. Epilogue

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Celia Esther Arredondo Zambrano was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She graduated from Tecnológico de Monterrey with a degree in Architecture, a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Texas A & M University and a master’s degree in Urban Design from Oxford Brookes University in England where she later obtained her Ph.D. in Architecture. She is an Emeritus Professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico and her areas of expertise are Theory, History and Cultural Studies in Architecture, as well as Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design. She has numerous publications in the fields of architecture both in Spanish and English. She was the first female President of the National Academy of Architecture, Chapter Monterrey, and was granted the status of Academic Emeritus, the highest distinction awarded by the National Academy of Architecture of the Mexican Architects Society.