Mexico Architecture and Literature

By | December 31, 2021

Architecture. – The recent Mexican architectural event appeared among the most advanced in Latin America from both a design and a technological point of view. There are many interesting examples, and not only in the capital city ​​of Mexico, starting with some residential houses, witnesses of the best American residential tradition, many of which are dispersed in distant suburbs or outside the cities: think of the essential Casa Romero in Querétaro, built in 2006 by the at103 studio; the experimental BioVR-Habitat (2006) in Atizapán de Zaragoza, not far from the capital, designed by the ARQme studio; or at the Casa Mty (2009-10) by Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta in Monterrey. In many respects the sober wooden residential complex dedicated to horse riding appears extraordinary and built in 2014 in a wooded area of ​​the State of Mexico, about two hours drive from the capital: it was designed by CC Arquitectos of Manuel Cervantes Céspedes, character among the most interesting of the new Mexican generation. For Mexico 2016, please check

There are also some restorations, free and creative: from the convent de Santa María Magdalena (2004-11) by Carlos Agustín Salomón Madrigal in Cuitzeo in Michoacán to the Condesa DF Hotel (2009) of the JS studio of Javier Sánchez with India Mahdavi for the interiors, award-winning recovery of an elegant apartment house from 1928. La Purificadora, a small hotel by the Legorreta + Legorreta studio built in Puebla in 2007 as part of an ambitious urban regeneration project in the historic center of the city, is also very interesting. In Pachuca we remember the transparent auditorium Gota de Plata, built in 2004 by the Migdal Arquitectos studio (Jaime Varon, Abraham Metta, Alex Metta). Arcos Bosques Corporate Center(1990-2008) by Serrano Arquitectos, but also at the previous Torre Bosques residencial in León Benjamín Romano, a 30-storey building on the border between the Federal District and the municipality of Huixquilucan in the State of México, completed in 2001. Also very successful is the exemplary compositional exercise consisting of the Lounge (2009-12), a triple pavilion in reinforced concrete that is part of a larger intervention for widespread hospitality, carried out in Tepoztlán by Eduardo Cadaval and Clara Solà-Morales.

Literature. – During the 20th century, Mexico produced an important literature that goes beyond the borders of the country with works of fundamental importance for the Latin American and world context both in poetry (Octavio Paz, José Emilio Pacheco) and in fiction (Juan Rulfo, Rosario Castellanos, Carlos Fuentes). The young Mexican writers, starting from the nineties of the last century, thus had the need to react to this tradition, developing aesthetics in which, both in terms of writing and of the imaginary, it was possible to recreate a new reality that no longer corresponded to that narrated by their predecessors.

In this context, important figures such as Cristina Rivera Garza or the ‘rebel’ Guillermo Fadanelli have already established themselves since the end of the 1980s; the latter, after having animated a group self-called Literatura basura (Garbage Literature), has published novels in which existential reflection is inserted in the context of the slums and criminality with a style close to American dirty realism (“dirty realism”) and the genre literature. A few years later, a group of five writers (Ignacio Padilla, Jorge Volpi, EloyUrroz, Pedro Ángel Palou, Ricardo Chávez Castañeda) published the Manifiesto del Crack, aiming to promote a reinterpretation of the Latin American boom (which the authors of the previous generation had opposed, at least in part) and producing much more complex novels on a narrative and stylistic level, often set outside Mexico.

In recent years, coinciding with the explosion of the phenomenon of drug trafficking, both critics and many writers have begun to talk about the birth of a new genre called narcoliterature (Elmer Mendoza, Yuri Herrera) that ranges from investigative journalism and non-fiction (Diego Enrique Osorno) to texts more canonically attributable to fictional fiction. However, other young writers such as Carlos Velásquez, Valeria Luiselli, Julián Herbert, Antonio Ortuño and Álvaro Enrigue can also fall into this line.

As far as poetry is concerned, it is difficult to propose a unitary image of the new generation: the disappearance of reference figures in Mexican poetry (the aforementioned Paz, Pacheco, but also Efraím Huerta and Jaime Sabines) has probably made it possible for young people, a reinterpretation of the national poetic tradition and the overcoming of a closed canon in favor of new poets considered, up to that moment, marginal. It is in this plurality of possible poetic and aesthetic experiences that the ‘unifying’ element of the new Mexican poetry can be traced (LuisFelipe Fabre, Alí ​​Calderón, Eduardo Padilla, Óscar de Pablo, Inti García Santamaría, Karen Villeda.

Mexico Architecture