Highlighting the Most Notorious Architects and Designers of Mexico

Highlighting the Most Notorious Architects and Designers of Mexico

In light of Cinco de Mayo on Thursday, May 5th, we thought it significant to address its rich history, deriving from the late 1800s in Mexico. Since then, it’s been a considerably popular celebration in the United States. 

Commemorating Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, it’s often misunderstood as a celebration of independence. Instead, Mexico gained its independence from Spain 52 years prior in 1810. Fiestas Patrias, otherwise known as Mexican Independence Day, is celebrated on September 16th. 

Since gaining their independence from Spain, various Mexican designers and architects have emerged into the creative world, contributing numerous renditions underscored with rich history and introducing abundant culture into the world of design.

Luis Barragán (1902 - 1988)

Barragán is arguably the most famed Mexico-born architect, having won the Pritzker Prize in 1980, which is the highest award attainable in architecture. This was a significant achievement considering his work was primarily oriented in Mexico. 

As an architect and engineer, his work brought innovation to the contemporary architect scene both visually and conceptually. Barragán studied engineering in his hometown of Mexico City while simultaneously following through with studies contributing to his title of architect.

Barragán, Luis

As of 2004, his home (famously recognized as The Luis Barragán House and Studio) has been declared a World Heritage by UNESCO.

Frida Escobedo

A Mexican architect born in 1979, Frida Escobedo specializes in urban places such as dwellings, community centers, art venues, and hotels, which she develops and restores. 

In the process of creation, Escobedo utilizes an overall notion of time to illustrate her works, but instead of a historical setting, she uses a social one. In 2006, she established her own architecture and design studio in Mexico City. Escobedo is known for producing ephemeral and engaging artwork that

Escobedo, Frida. Serpentine Pavillion (2018)

can be used for a variety of applications.

In 2018, she became not only the Serpentine Pavilion’s youngest architect, but the second woman to have ever been invited.

Fernanda Canales

One of the very few architects who focuses on sustainability, particularly within the 32 states of Mexico, is Fernanda Canales. 

Canales primarily focuses on architecture that reimagines and reconstructs social housing in Mexico that maintains a social and environmental sustainability. Her work can be observed in museums, community-based cultural centers, and even private housing. 

Given that 14% of houses in Mexico are abandoned (The New York Times), Canales began to shift her focus in architecture to resolving the structural flaws that exist within housing, all considering the availability of local resources, climate, and keeping the cost of living low. 

Canales, Fernanda. House 21, Apan Housing Laboratory.

In terms of the environmental efficiency, this looks like efficient ways of providing water and electricity to homes that lie far outside of Mexico City.

Mexico is Moving Forward in Sustainable Architecture

As we begin to observe the effects of climate change more frequently, Mexico appears to be reacting relatively quickly as the push for green building becomes stronger. 

Although green-certification was previously limited to corporate buildings and businesses, the construction of water and energy-efficient homes is becoming a more prevalent option. In efforts to lower the amount of energy that goes into creating construction materials, companies such as Vinte actively reduce the negative impacts on the climate and maintain low carbon emissions.  

They take this on by pushing for energy-efficient refrigerators, and an incredible rainwater harvesting system that supports green areas and water consumption for washing clothes and dishes (Edge).