MEXICO ARCHITECTURE DECONSTRUCTED: BESPOKE TOUR

Barragan, Candela. Romero. Kalach, Bilbao. Rojkind. Norton. Romero.
You've heard that Mexico City has a vibrant architecture scene. Now it's time to explore some of its finest iconic expressions with an articulate local architect, well-schooled in Mexico's urban development & philosophies. 
Whether you are simply a fan of Architectural Digest, or architecture is your profession, we make this tour an inspirational day out. 

To make life easy, your 6 hour tour comes with a private driver and door-to-door service.

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Above : Emotional Architecture by  legendary Luis Barragan
Below:  Torre Reforma officially named Best Skyscraper in the World 2018


famous landmarks mexico city




This 6 hour tour program is 100% tailored to you.

Be it modern, postmodern, urban planning, innovation, sustainability or creativity, we match our geekiness to yours!


mexico architecture tour


This is an architectural degustation - designed to highlight Mexico City's transformative eras of identity and ideals, via form and function.



Above: Vasconcelos Library - Kalach's futuristic homage to books
 With our private appointment you'll see the original Vasconcelos model in Kalach's very own office.


Be intelligently guided to the sites and stories of Mexico's boldest examples of modern, postmodern & colonial buildings.

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Above : Le Gorreta plays with Barragan's paint set Camino Real.
Way below:  University CU - the famous 'Cosmic Race' inspired mosaic wall

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We build your architecture itinerary according to your personal & professional interests.

Using these parameters, our baseline aim then focuses on maximizing your 'travel-time to building' ratio.


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Mid Century genius Pedro Ramírez Vázquez  



"Architecture is a component for making relevant change in society" 
Michel Rojkind -


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mexican architecture tour
Susan Matheson rave review of architecture tour

Here’s a quick update on today’s tour: Our guide was incredible, he showed us many unusual places, I’ll send photos when I’m back in LA. He is very knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun! He held my hand to ensure my safety while crossing busy streets. We (sic) can’t stop talking about the tour!

Susan Matheson, Los Angeles

MEET YOUR MEXICO CITY ARCHITECTURE EXPERTS

​Our architect-guides are active working professionals and have robust industry knowledge. They also know how to balance out the day with lighter info, contextual data & interesting vignettes, so you can ​choose to go lightweight or geeky​​ whenever you wish.

Naoki Solano is a Member  of the Architecture Faculty at UNAM.

Naoki Solano has been an Architecture Lecturer for over 5 years, so he is a powerhouse of knowledge regarding Mexican (and international) modernism.   He is a Member of the Architecture Faculty at UNAM - Latin America’s largest university and Mexico City's most prestigious academic icon - so we are blessed to have him be your guide for the Luis Barragan Tour. His Masters in Architecture were carried out in Wales, so Naoki's English is impeccable and he is strong aware of Barragan's significance in the wider world from his research into international modernist styles. 

Naoki has a fabulous array of insider accounts regarding Barragan's socio-political, design, & philisophical themes, and has himself all the traits of a true gentleman. Both which are aspects befitting the important role of portraying Barragan's life story and architectural approach.

PS: Many people ask us: is Naoki Japanese?

The answer is: Naoki was born and bred in Mexico City. Both his parents are Mexican too. Naoki's dad, who is also an Architect, was a world traveller before he had children, so both Naoki and his brother received Japanese names when they were born. He was a global citizan before the term even existed!


"Serenity. Serenity is the great and true antidote against anguish and fear, and today, more than ever, it is the architect’s duty to make of it a permanent guest in the home [sic]
- Luis Barragan -



mexico architecture expert

Juan Ignacio del Cueto is best known for the Felix Candela retrospective he presented at MOMA , New York.


Juan Ignacio del Cueto, who, is a specialist in the History and Restauration of 20C Architecture, is fondly known as DINO by many generations of architecture students, architect visitors and friends. His son, who has the same name, is also known as Dino too! 

Dino (senior) is a very well-respected, indeed prominent, figure in the world of architecture in Mexico City due to his
CAM-SAM award-winning research on the architecture of Spanish exiles in Mexico, which in turn led him to become a world expert on Mexico City-based architect Felix Candela, whose use of tensile concrete hyberbolic-paraboloid shells in the 50s & 60s strongly affected mid-century modern architecture internationally and radically broke engineering ground.  



Dino's 'Shells of Candela'  / 'Los cascarones de Candela'  New York show complimented the Latin America in Construction Architecture  1955-1980 show  at  https://www.moma.org/artists/44763MOMA New York in 2015.  He was also Curator of “Félix Candela 1910-2010,” an exhibition that was featured in Spain, Mexico, and New York from 2010-2012. 

Dino is a member of the National Academy of Architecture in Mexico, and and the Madrid government Assembly. His books Félix Candela 1910-2010 (2010), Candela Guide (2013) y Spanish Architects exiled in Mexico (2014) were finalists in three Latin American Biennales for Arquitecture and Urbanism.

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"Life deprived of beauty is not worthy of being called human.
- Luis Barragan -

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Our guide (sic) ranks up there with the best tour guides we've ever had in Spain or Italy.
Having had three other tours in Mexico City, he's -- hands down -- the best we've ever had. Why?
We felt that we were seeing special locations … not the typical tourist destinations. At each spot, we were the only people there with a guide. Often, he spoke to security to explain why we were there. Clearly a different experience than the hordes of tourists at the more common tourist destinations.

B Armstrong

THE MEXICAN ARCHITECT MIND 

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Mexican Pritzker Prize architect, Luis Barragan, brilliantly described floorplans as 'architectural striptrease'.

mexican architecture


"For me, a space, or a building,  needs to have an emotional reason for its existence."

-  Ricardo LeGorreta -

(American Institute of Architects' Gold Medal, 2000:  Praemium Imperiale Arts Prize, 2012.)


mexico architecture


"The present is what interests an architect. We make the future by facing the present."

- Teodoro González de León -
(a.k.a The Concrete Poet)


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Not only did our guide talk about the buildings, and architects but they explained so much about the history and current state of the neighborhood too.

Jonas, Platform Designer-  Colorado

TOUR PRICES - ARCHITECTURE TOUR MEXICO CITY

The beauty of this tour is that it is private. See only the buildings that you interest you. Go deep into any topic or theme without 'holding up the group'. Take your time to get the right photo. Know that we are maximizing your day in terms of travel ​and attractions.


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1 - 2pp = US$418
3 - 5pp = US$ 475
6 -10pp =US$573



*Prices are in US dollars & don't include tax.

**We recommend contacting your bank BEFORE trying to book, because overseas banks frequently have a block or high alert for any payments linked to Mexico.

***f your itinerary includes buildings which have an entrance fee, we let you know how much this is in advance, so that you can bring the right amount of cash (ie pesos!) with you on the day, OR where appropriate, we ask your permission to pre-purchase tickets on your behalf ahead of time, in order to 100% secure your admission on the day.

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Way above: Retna's urban intervention in outer zoneTlatelolco:  Thanks to The Beauty Project for the photo!
Above: Frida and Diego's studio
Below: The formwork of  Felix Candela  undisputed king of the hyperbolic-paraboloid.

architecture in mexico tour

Laura was very responsive during the entire planning process. She hired an architect and driver to lead us on a six hour tour of the contemporary architecture in Mexico City. She inquired about our desires of what to see. It was a wonderful private architecture tour!

MEXICAN ARCHITECTURE TOUR - SCHEDULE

We time this tour to avoid peak traffic. And the like-clockwork 6pm downpour during rainy season.
If you wish to customize, contact us for an alternative schedule.


10am start time
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

On Mondays all government-run buildings are closed - including the Studio of Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo and the Casa Barragan House.

Private buildings such asRomero's Soumaya, Barragan's Casa Gilardi, Kalach's Vasconcelos Library, Le Gorreta's CENART, Rojkind's Cineteca are open Mondays however so we still tour that day. In fact it's usually a great option because many other attractions ( such as Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul ) are not available then.

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"I think that the ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery and mystery."


- Luis Barragan -

Susan Matheson rave review of architecture tour

Ramon is incredible, he showed us many unusual places. He is very knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun! He held my arm for safety while crossing busy streets. Polly can’t stop talking about the tour!

Susan M - LA

YOUR PRIVATE ARCHITECTURE TOUR - THE ITINERARY

​What will you see on tour? What about private viewings? Here's how it works...

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When you book you online you are asked to complete a basic survey, which helps us identify the following:

A) if you have a very specific program you want to see .
For example: "I'm interested in Building Y & Building Z, but I have already seen Building H so I am not interested in seeing that again" etc!

OR

B) if you have a particular interest area that you would like your architect guide to keep in mind when they design your program.

Your questionnaire answers are sent to the architect that is assigned to your tour. They develop a customized itinerary for you, which the Tour Coordinator sends ahead of time for your feedback.


Are you in love with :

design innovation,
integrated landscaping,
urban planning,
a certain era,
architectural creativity,
design processes,
skyscrapers,
sustainable materials,

or simply just the sexiest-looking buildings that will make your profile look good?

Our architects curate a tour program that captures YOUR wishlist!

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frida kahlo house studio mexico


mexico architecture tour

Thanks again for such an amazing experience! We had a blast and everyone is so inspired by the passion and talent of this city!

Serena, Nike World Headquarters - Portland 

TOUR CONCEPT

A 'city highlights' tour, never goes deep enough for architecture lovers. Or worse, misses the mark entirely. When we were asked to create a bespoke day-out for some architects, Laura as a former architectural journalist was more than happy to oblige. Now this is one of our most frequently requested  bespoke tours.

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We know that architects, and architecture lovers, are very specific in their requirements. A pre-packaged tour program is not going to hit the mark for most. This tour has been developed for international visitors who know that a 'city highlights' tour, never goes deep enough. Or worse, misses the mark entirely.

The tourist-centered
Turibus will take you to the Disneyland-style highlights of the city, but architecturally speaking those are NOT the ones we would put top of the list!

In our experience architecture fans usually have very specific obsessions, and/or professional focus points. Some take pride in seeing places that no-one else has seen in the city. Others want insprration through understand the INSIDE stories of how buildings were created and what problems they overcame.

That is why Stylewalk MX Director, Laura Ainscough, developed this tour. A former Architectural Journalist at the Mexican architecture firm Slot Studios, Laura was regularly asked to provide 'one-off' curated architecture tours for visiting architects. People with a serious business or personal interest in Mexican architecture.

We take delight in getting you inside access to spaces that are not open to the public.


As the tour evolved, Laura sought out local architects to fulfill the role of host-guide - looking for architects who could offer deeper local knowledge and technical know-how. It took her two years to find the right guides for the job. Bilingual, working architects, who have an extensive knowledge of Mexican architecture, engineering, and the personal skills to make the day enjoyable!
Welcome to the fruits of her labour!

architecture mexico


We are experts at adapting the itinerary to your aesthetic sensibilities or personal radar.
There is no shortage of great architectural options in Mexico City!


mexican architecture candela

We took a tour of one of the largest architectural firms in the city and because I was interested in a specific architect, Laura made sure our guide included one of his buildings on the tour. It was knowledgeable, friendly and easy to contact.

Melanie - PhD Candidate- University of Pennsylvania

famous landmarks in mexico



"Show me the best of Mexican Art Deco!"
"I only want to see the works of Candela and O'Gorman"
"I'm interested in earthquake-resistant engineering."

Tell us what your ideal day looks like!

We take delight in getting you inside access to spaces that are not open to the public.

mexico architecture
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​This, my second trip to Mexico City, was something of a carbon-copy of my first trip … same hotel, same restaurants, same historic center tour. Ramon, like peeling back the layers of an onion, showed me how much there is to see in Mexico City. I can't wait to return!

B Armstong

WHY ARCHITECTURE IN MEXICO CITY IS BEST SEEN WITH A GUIDE

In most cities you can gad about on your own and you'll still see and understand the important sites. Find out why, critically, the rule doesn't apply to Mexico City architecture fans.




1) Mexico City is different to other world class cities
We know that in most big cities of the world, you can self-navigate your way to the most iconic and exemplary works of architecture, on your own, with an Uber, a bit of research and an audio guide. (We've done it ourselves!)

The big news is Mexico City is NOT like that. The finest architectural works of the city are not geographically close to each other. The city is sprawling, and frankly, poorly planned. So you can spend hours driving from A to B if you don't understand urban dynamics and know how to plan appropriately. Public transport exists but it is not popular with the working class because it is a nightmare to navigate, the stops are not that geographically convenient (which ultimately means walking in unknown areas) and there are so many robberies that happen on the Metro and Metrobus that the average person would rather not chance their mobile phone or wallet.


You can see Bellas Artes and other tourist icons on your own.


This tour is about getting you to lesser-known and less-accessible works of brilliance, which you wouldn't do without an architect at your side!

bellas artes mexico city private tour
architecture mexico


2) Buildings come alive once you know their stories
The story behind a building, an architect's life, or the creation of a neighbourhood, is a truly fascinating part of architecture. The HOW, WHY and WHAT is not obvious in this city. Many written accounts are in Spanish only. There are rarely on-site billboards explaining what we are looking at. The city hasn;t quite realized that arrchotecture is its own branch of toursim.
We take pride in the fact that our guides are architects themselves. it is natural for them to bring alive Mexico's architectural story it's star-chitects, politics, triumph's and failures (not to mention, those juicy bits of behind-the-scenes architectural gossip!)


We enjoy revealing a flipside to architecture.  Places that even repeat visitors would not have seen before.


3) Many great architectural works are located in unusual non-touristy parts of town.
Many of our brilliant works are public ones, which means they were destined for outer suburban areas and new urban developments. Once you are out of the car you wonder why on earth they built something so important in such a economically barren or socially remote place!
We don't recommend hanging out as a foreigner in areas of the city that you don't know well. Don't think you won't stand out because you are dressed casually. You will.

mexico city architecture


This tour offers door-to-door service.
On the day of your tour, your architect-host and  driver pick you up from your accommodation & away you go!  It's a seamless day with full continuity.


3) Many great architectural works are located in unusual non-touristy parts of town.
Many of our brilliant works are public ones, which means they were destined for outer suburban areas and new urban developments. Once you are out of the car you wonder why on earth they built something so important in such a economically barren or socially remote place!
We don't recommend hanging out as a foreigner in areas of the city that you don't know well. Don't think you won't stand out because you are dressed casually. You will.

mexican architecture tour

​A wonderful experience. Extremely knowledgeable and great access! You’re in good hands.

Patrick - Currency Trader - Los Angeles

MEXICAN ARCHITECT - FRIDA ESCOBEDO - SERPENTINE PAVILLION

Following in Zaha Hadid's footsteps, Mexican architect Frida Escobedo is breaking ground in London

famous mexican architects

​We were given a private tour of Casa Giraldi by architect (sic) Luis Barragon, and got to meet the owners of the house, see their artwork, and learn about their personal experience of commissioning the house, living in it, and their relationship with Barragan.

Andrew - Harvard Uni

MEXICAN ARCHITECTURE - TOUR OVERVIEW

​Step by step - what to expect during your tour.

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10am : Your architect-guide and private driver pick you up from your hotel / bnb
Mexican interiors, creative processes, interesting materials, innovation, project development, engineering, urban planning, government role, private vs public? Your 6hour tour is planned prior and tailored to you.


Your driver maximises your time by planning a city-smart route


The number of sites seen within the 6hour program will depend on their GPS locations.


Learn about the city's development & challenges along the way. Travel time is not dead time. The driver concentrates on driving. The guide concentrates on showing you the city and answering your questions.


Barragan, Romero, Kalach(TAX), Norten (TEN), Bilbao, O'Gorman, Le Gorretta. Candela: if you want to see a specific architect's most representative works, let us know! Wherever possible, we try to reserve private appointments. We let you know in advance if we have been able to secure a viewing or not, so we can adjust the program accordingly.


4pm: drop off at your accommodation ( free within the central hotel belt which includes neighbourhoods Polanco through to Centro HIstorico)

Hey, but what about lunch?

Some guests want to stop for lunch. Others only want espresso. Some people don't want to stop at all!  We follow your lead. It's YOUR tour. There are no rules.

luis barragan coffee

​We were interested in mid century and modern architecture. Highly recommend this tour!

Robert F - Vancouver

WHY YOU WOULDN'T DO THIS TOUR IN AN UBER

Mexico City traffic is officially the worst in the world. Waze doesn't care if it sends you into a traffic jam.. And here's the catch....Uber relies on Waze. it's not in English and definitely not city smart.


So........WHY YOU WOULDN'T DO THIS TOUR IN AN UBER?

1. It’s quite simple. You wouldn’t be logistically be able to.

We make it look easy, but exploring several buildings within 6 hours is actually the result of expertise.

Few find it hard to believe (until they land), but Mexico City has the world’s WORST traffic congestion. We can’t stop this from happening, but we WILL keep you out of the mayhem! Our drivers are paid to use their smarts to avoid the frey and to deliver you smoothly to the features of your tour program. They are COMMITTED to maximising your day.

2) Waze in Mexico City is not effective.
Uber drivers are very professional in Mexico, but they will simply follow Waze which WILL direct you to redline congested streets, Waze will take you around the block 4 times until it works out what to do AND your driver won’t notice. We tell you this from personal experience. Just take a look at the expat forums and you'll soon have it confirmed. Unfortunately any technology involved with GPS in Mexico City is extremely touch and go. If you have Spanish and can override Waze with some verbal instructions, this will be of help to you. It will need to be in Spanish though. most drivers do NOT speak english - see #3!.



Mexico City traffic is notorious, at best. Having a private driver allows us to fulfill a high quality itinerary with an awesome ratio of building-to-travel time. It does require city smarts to make that happen.


mexican architecture


As the tour evolved, Laura sought out local architects to fulfill the role of host-guide - looking for architects who could offer deeper local knowledge and technical know-how. It took her two years to find the right guides for the job. Bilingual, working architects, who have an extensive knowledge of Mexican architecture, engineering, and the personal skills to make the day enjoyable!
Welcome to the fruits of her labour!

When you tour with us, your guide does not drive. You have a dedicated driver who will focus on traffic and plan the best route.
That way your guide is free to discuss Mexican life with you en route, and to answer questions.

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Ramón and our driver were terrific. A great tour of Mexico City! I would highly recommend this tour (sic) to other visitors.

Grant Monck, LL.B, Vancouver.

MEXICO CITY TRAFFIC


If you want to move from A to B, and B to C, you're going need local intelligence & a driver who is committed to productivity.

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