MEXICO ARCHITECTURE DECONSTRUCTED: BESPOKE TOUR
Mexican architecture - beyond Barragan
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.
This 6 hour tour program with private guide & luxury transport is 100% tailored to you.
Be it modern, postmodern, urban planning, innovation, sustainability or creativity - we match our geekiness to yours!
View from Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Gonzalo Ramírez del Sordo's iconic National Auditorium
This architectural degustation has been designed to highlight Mexico City's transformative eras of identity and ideals, via form and function.
Le Gorreta hangs out & plays cards with Barragan
Be intelligently guided to the sites and stories of Mexico's boldest examples of modern, postmodern & colonial buildings.
Above: Vasconcelos Library - Kalach's futuristic homage to books
Below: See the original Vasconcelos model in Kalach's own office.
University CU - the famous 'Cosmic Race' inspired mosaic wall
Design processes - MX inspiration is on offer!
"Architecture is a component for making relevant change in society" - Rojkind
Mexican landscaping - architecture's faithful partner
The itinerary is tailored to your personal & professional interests -
always with the aim of maximizing your 'travel-time to building' ratio.
Here’s a quick update on today’s tour: Ramon is 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. Polly can’t stop talking about the tour!
Susan Matheson, Los Angeles
MEET YOUR MEXICO ARCHITECTURE GUIDES
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 soak up the day & enjoy!
Ramon Alvarez has been a Architecture Lecturer at the National Polytecnic Institute for over 20 years, which makes him an amazing wealth of knowledge about architecture movements and the faces that drove them. Importantly however he remains active as a working architect, so he has a great understanding of the political, design, constructive processes behind the works you visit.
Ramón is an architecture Professor at Mexico City's Polytechnic and has personally worked on several large-scale public projects for the city
Miguel Angel Castillo (Mikey) has spent the last three working as an architect at Slot Studios - winners of the Mexican Pavilion design for the Shanghai World Expo. Having previously studied industrial design in Milan, Mikey is brilliant at deciphering technical plans and has an incredible grasp on world design trends. His sustainability-minded foldable bookcase featured at Milan Design Week 2018.
Mikey is an architect at the prestigious Mexican firm Slot, and is an industrial designer.
"If you ignore humans, architecture is unnecessary." - Alvaro Siza.
Ramon (sic) was incredible! He 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?
1. Ramon was the first guide 9sic) that we've enjoyed having a meal with. He's interesting, well-spoken … better connection than we've had with others.
2. 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.
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!
Mexican Pritzker Prize architect, Luis Barragan, brilliantly described floorplans as 'architectural striptrease'.
If design processes inspire you, let us know.
Famous Mexican, Legorreta, received the American Institute of Architects' Gold Medal in 2000 & Japan’s prestigious Praemium Imperiale arts prize in 2012.
The present is what interests an architect. We make the future by facing the present." Teodoro González de León
TOUR PRICES - ARCHITECTURE IN MEXICO CITY
The beauty of this tour is that it is private. See only the buildings that you interest you. Make good use of the travel time between sites.
1 - 2pp = US$418
3 - 5pp = US$ 475
6 -10pp =US$573
Prices listed are in US dollars and don't include tax. consumibles, or entrance fees (where applicable) .
Price includes luxury transport, private guide & private driver.
Prices are adjusted for inflation every year on January 15.
If 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 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.
Retna's urban intervention in the outer region of Tlatelolco: Photo courtesy of The Beauty Project.
Felix Candela : king of the hyperbolic-paraboloid.
Laura was very responsive during the entire planning process. She hired an architect (Mikey) 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 of 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 Barragan House.
Private buildings such as Romero's Soumaya, Barragan's Casa Gilardi, Kalach's Vasconcelos Library ,Le Gorreta's CENART, Rojkind's Cineteca are open Mondays.
Juan O Gorman: The famous Diego Rivera- Frida Kahlo Studio
Ramon is 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 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...
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!
B) if you have an 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 :
a certain era,
or simply just the sexiest-looking buildings that will make your online profile look good?
Our architects curate a tour program that captures YOUR wishlist!
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
They asked us. We delivered. Why we don't do cookie cutter itineraries or sushi-train programs.
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 fulfil 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!
We are experts at adapting the itinerary to your aesthetic sensibilities or personal radar.
There is no shortage of architectural options in Mexico City!
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
Ramón and our driver were terrific. A great tour of Mexico City! I would highly recommend Ramón to other visitors.
Grant Monck, LL.B, Vancouver.
WHY ARCHITECTURE IN MEXICO CITY IS BEST SEEN WITH A GUIDE
Find out why it doesn't make sense to do this tour on your own.
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.
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!)
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!
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.
This tour offers door-to-door service.
On the day of your tour, your driver & architect host pick you up from your accomodation & away you go!
It's a seamless day with full continuity.
4) The bottom line is: time is precious.
Our tour guests don't have days and days to spend navigating this city of 24million people. With such an amazing array of architecture in Mexico City, it is crucial to have some one curate a program for you AND to get you into private spaces which are not open to the public.
MEXICAN ARCHITECT - FRIDA ESCOBEDO - SERPENTINE PAVILLION
Just like Zaha Hadid before her, Mexican architect Frida Escobedo is breaking new ground in London
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.
- 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.
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 not city smart.
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.
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 touch and go.
Your guide is not your driver.
Your guide is free discuss Mexican life with you en route, and to answer questions.
Your driver will concentrate on driving!
3) Most Uber drivers do not speak english.
We like Uber and Yaxi drivers. But if you think your driver will speak English, then think again. Most Mexicans do NOT speak English. Mexico City is NOT Tijuana, Cancun, or Puerto Vallarta, where English and the US dollar have taken over local culture.
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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