José Vasconcelos Public Library

108 | Mexico City

architect: Alberto Kalach

location: Mexico City

year: 2007

The project integrates the public library with a botanical garden. A 250 meter steel, concrete and glass structure surrounded by greenery and water. The design is based in four fundamental considerations:
- Mexico City is one of the largest, most polluted and agresive urban environments in the planet. We believe that the planning of public funded buildings should always encourage the expansion
of car-free open spaces and greenery.
- The specific area where the project was built was a barren urban landscape
- The buildings and gardens generate a new pole of urban ecological regeneration that expands over a densely populated area.
- The library  is itself an attempt at reorganizing available human knowledge.
The Botanical Garden houses a comprehensive array of Mexicos endemic flora.
Culture and nature, often on opposing sides, form a unity in which the visitor can reconcile their co-existence. The reading areas offer the user an opportunity for experimenting directcontact with nature. All areas profit from natural lighting and ventilation. The library is a great ship that navigates through time enveloped in a garden that´s always itself and always new.

Born on January 26 1960 in Mexico City. Practice since 1981. Architectural Studies: Universidad IBERO, Mexico City 1977-1981; Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y. 1983-1985. Teaching experience: UNAM, Mexico City, Graduate School of Design AT Harvard University, Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Polytechnical Institute of Puerto Rico, University of Houston, University of Southern California. Awarded competitions: 1984 second place, project for the School of Arts of Columbus, Indiana. 71° Paris Prize. 1989 first, third and sixth place in the National aid of the Urban Center of Chalco, with Albin, Elizondo and Vasconcelos.1990 First place in the National Aid of House FIVIDESU. With Daniel Alvarez.1996 first place Petrosino International Park in New York, with R. Regazzoni. 1996 first place, German School Alexander Von Humboldt, Puebla. 1996 with F. Buendía. 2002 Lake Texcoco, special mention at the Venice Bienniale with: FDU. 2003 first  place, Clinicas IMSS. 2003 first place National Public Library Josè Vasconcelos. 2006 finalist,  Residential Tower and Hotel Ritz-Carlton Mexico City. www.kalach.com

area 108 – Mexico City

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