The air is hot and thick; the pollution so bad it clouds the lungs and the eyes. Day and night, roads are traffic-jammed, streets are messy, and the sidewalks are so crooked you more stumble than walk to your destination. Outside the center, thousands live without power, laws, or sanitation.
This is Mexico City: the 20-million-people metropolis, one of the world’s largest and most complicated urban areas—and one of the most exciting places for contemporary architecture today.
A 21st century phenomenon, Mexico City (or DF, as it is locally referred to) is constantly changing, supplying a sea of opportunities for edgy, adventurous architects. The young architecture scene is different here, too. It relies on paths set by modern era’s founding fathers (read our recent post on Mexican modernists here), while commenting on current socio-political issues in original, sensitive, and innovative ways. With an overload of creativity and a growing economy, new firms and studios are opening rapidly, and even attracting workers from other Spanish-speaking countries.
So what defines Mexico’s expanding architectural generation? Click through for an introduction to the work of Frida Escobedo, PRODUCTORA, Periférica, Dear Architects, Alberto Kalach, and others, followed by an exclusive look into Harvard GSD’s recent studio on Mexico City’s future monorail system.