Fernando Romero discusses his work in Mexico, the U.S., China and Japan, including an enclosed bridge between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, a bridge with a tea house in Jinhua, China, the Immigration Museum in San Diego, the Holocaust Museum in El Paso, a recent private residence in Mexico, and a 34 story housing tower in Santa Fe, Mexico. He argues that “parallel lines and parallel columns makes a glass house typical of the Latin American modernity.”For him, “Architecture is a translation process.”
Miquel Adria lectures on contemporary Mexican architecture including the work of Teodoro Gonz?lez de Le?n, Alberto Kalach, and Taller de Enrique Norten Arquitectos. Adria begins by discussing the changing views of modern Mexican architecture. He discusses the role of colonialism in establishing building types and trajectory. He comments on the role of landscape, materials and pre-Hispanic traditions in Mexican architectural heritage. Adria notes the conflict between nationalistic trends and imported International Style, and discusses the significance of Luis Barrag?n.
Aaron Betsky introduces Enrique Norten, noting his education at the Universidad Iberoamericana, and Cornell. Norten practices mostly in Mexico City. He lectures widely across North America, and has taught at SCI-Arc.
The video documents a screening of black and white 16mm film (no sound) which features the Bancomer Headquarters, completed in 1976 in Mexico City. Designed by Augusto Alvarez collaboration with Juan Sordo Madaleno.
Shelly Kappe interviews five architects from Mexico; Enrique Del Moral, Agust?n Hern?ndez, Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro Gonz?lez de Le?n, and Augusto Alvarez. Additionally, she interviews Teodoro Gonz?lez de Le?n separately. The discussion with each architect is about the influence of their schooling at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Each architect acknowledges the influence of Le Corbusier. In
De Le?n’s interview he details his work with Le Corbusier.
A series of Mexican architects are interviewed individually by Shelly Kappe and discuss the development of modern architecture in Mexico. Enrique Del Moral talks about his early days as a student of Jos? Villagr?n, and how winning the lottery enabled him to travel. Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro Gonz?lez de Le?n talk about their partnership which is more like a history of collaboration than a traditional office. Charles Eames speaks at LACMA in 1976 about various topics important to his practice, beginning with education and ways of learning. A 1973 WNET documentary “An Eames Celebration“ features an interview with Charles and Ray and focuses on their house for the Case Study House program five years after its completion.
Enrique Del Moral talks in October 1980 about his early days as a student of Jos? Villagr?n, and how winning the lottery enabled him to travel.
Shelly Kappe separately interviews Mexican Architects; Enrique Del Moral and Agust?n Hern?ndez. Del Moral talks about his early architectural work in Mexico City. He says people did not initially make the connection between art and architecture. He explains that Le Corbusier was a direct influence for modern architects in Mexico, but that Walter Gropius was an even greater influence for him. Del Moral credits the Bauhaus for new thinking and new developments in construction. Agust?n Hern?ndez talks about his architectural career in Mexico, where he attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and where he now teaches. When asked whose work he admired growing up, he states Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Frank Lloyd Wright as influences. Hern?ndez states, “I don’t believe in theories. I believe in practice.” He explains “there are two types of spaces in architecture in Mexico…pre-Hispanic – cosmic space – religion of the sky…and after the conquest, the religion in the room…” Hern?ndez’s preference is pre-Hispanic and its geometric forms. He sees “architecture as a living sculpture.”