The most important public works project of the decade in Mexico, the Biblioteca Vasconcelos, came out of the country’s first international architecture competition in more than a century–the first since the never-finished Legislative Palace project in 1896. This introduction to the recently completed site offers a tour in color and black-and-white images, details of the Gabriel Orozco work built into the site, and architect Alberto Kalach’s design in sketches, renderings and plans. An historical text placing the Biblioteca in the context of Mexico’s most significant libraries over the years analyzes those precedents not only as containers of books, but as cultural concepts, because the Biblioteca’s power lies not only in its quality of design and its contribution to the urban landscape, but also in the cultural policy it represents and fosters. Alberto Kalach has often been referred to as the leading Mexican architect of his generation.
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