Vasconcelos Library / Alberto Kalach

Architects: Alberto Kalach Location: Mexico DF, Mexico Competition Team: Alberto Kalach, Gustavo Lipkau, Juan Palomar, Tonatiuh Martínez Project Team: Alberto Kalach, Emmanuel Ramírez, Ignacio del Río, Tami Tamashiro, José Luis Reyes, Héctor Módica, Bolivar Garrido, Ivan Ramírez, Gabriel Ortiz, Roland Oberhofer, Paola Acevedo, Alejandro Castañeda Client: CONACULTA Botanical Garden: José Ma. Buendía, Carlos Murillo, Teobaldo Eguiluz, Jardín Botánico UNAM Structural Engineering: Martínez Romero – EMRSA Structural Design: Enrique Arriaga Interior Design: Adriana León – TAX Project Area: 38,091 sqm Project Year: 2004-2007 Photographs: Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre The project integrates the public library with a botanical garden. A 250 meter steel, concreteand glass structure surrounded by greenery and water. The design is based in four fundamental considerations :

1. 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 2. The specific area where the project was built was a barren urban landscape 3. The buildings and gardens generate a new pole of urban ecological regeneration that expands over a densely populated area 4. 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 direct contact 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.