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World Architecture Masters

ISSN 1313-177X

14/ 2010/ 014

TEODORO GONZALEZ DE LEON


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Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon Mr. Gonzalez de León was born in Mexico City, on May 29, 1926. From 19421947, he studied in the old Academia de San Carlos (UNAM). The French Government granted him a scholarship and he worked during 18 months at the Le Corbusier’s studio (1947-48). There, he was involved in making the blueprints for several works and as a supervisor of two large constructions: the “Unite d’ Habitation Marseille” and the “Manufactures St. Dié”, France (1948-49). Since the early fifties, when Mr. Gonzalez de León came back to Mexico, he has been continuously active. First, in the urban and public housing field, and afterwards, in developing large public and private buildings. Mr. Gonzalez de León is the author, in collaboration with Abraham Zabludovsky, of the building for the “Infonavit”; “El Colegio de México”; the “Museo Rufino Tamayo” (Rufino Tamayo Museum); the “Universidad Pedagógica Nacional” (National Pedagogic University); the extension of the headquarters of Banamex; and the renovation of the “Auditorio Nacional” (National Auditorium). He is also the creator, in collaboration with Abraham Zabludovsky and Francisco Serrano, of the Mexican Embassy in Brazil. Later, with Francisco Serrano, of the Public Library and the Administrative Center for the government of the State of Tabasco; the new building for Hewlett Packard; the Mexican Embassies in Germany and Guatemala. In collaboration with Francisco Serrano and Carlos Tejeda, he built the Federal Court of Justice and the corporate center “Corporativo Arcos Bosques”. Among his works as individual creator are: the new headquarters of the “Fondo de Cultura Económica” (a publishing company); the “Site Museum in Tajin; the renovation of the “El Colegio Nacional” (The National College); the School of Music, at the National Center for the Arts; the Mexican Gallery at the British Museum in London; the National Folk Arts Museum and the Cultural Center “Bella Epoca”. At present, he works in the urban complex “Reforma 222” , and the building “North D” and “Arco 2”, of the Bosques Corporate Center, in Mexico City. He is also developing the projects for a sanctuary, “María Siempre Virgen”, in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, and for the New Museum of Contemporary Art, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He has been awarded with the following honors: Emeritus Academician of the Mexican National Academy of Architecture; National Prize of Sciences and Arts (Mexico); Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects; Member of the Mexican Academy for the Arts; Member of the International Academy of Architecture; Member of “El Colegio Nacional” (The National College, Mexico); and Doctor Honoris Causa, by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. · He also received several prizes such as: “El Gran Premio Latinoamericano” (the Latin American Grand Prix) in the Biennial of Architecture in Buenos Aires (1989). Twice, the Grand Prix of the International Academy of Architecture, in the Biennials of Architecture in Sophia, Bulgary (1989 and 1994); the Grand Prix at the II International Biennial of Architecture of Brazil (1994); the Grand Prix Gold Medal in the V Biennial of Mexican Architecture (1998); Gold and Silver Medals at the Miami Beach Biennial (2002); the “Mario Pani Darqui” Prize, awarded by the Universidad Latinoamericana (Mexico, 2004); the Ludwig van Beethoven Award for Architectonic Creativity, assigned by the Philharmonic Society of Mexico (2004); and the “Life and Work Award”, given by CEMEX (2005). Golden Medal given by the International Union of Arquitects UIA. 2008


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Architect Teodoro Gonzalez de Le贸n Collaborator Arq. Ernesto Betancourt Designer Miguel Cervantes Structural engineer F.J. Samuely and Partners Services engineer Hoare Lea and Partners Lightning Fisher Marantz, Rentro Stone Inc. Project management British Museum Architecture and Building Services, British Museum Design Office Quantity surveyor William C. Inman and Partners Construction area 187 m2


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1 XIUHCOATL 2 TEXTO INTRODUCTORIO 3 CULTURA OLMECA 4 CULTURA DE LA COSTA DEL GOLFO 5 ESCULTURA HUASTECA 6 CULTURA DEL OESTE 7 CULTURA MAYA

LONGITUDINAL SECTION

8 DINTELES MAYAS 9 CULTURA TEOTIHUACANA 10 CULTURA ZAPOTECA I 1 CULTURA MIXTECA 12 CULTURA CHOLULA Y MIXTECA 13 ESCULTURA AZTECA 14 MOSAICOS AZTECAS DE TURQUESA 15 CULTURA AZTECA


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TRANSVERSAL SECTION


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The Mexican Room puts on permanent display a part of the British Museum’s collection of Olmec, Teotihuacano, Huasteco and Aztec pieces. The relatively small space (187 square meters) is divided into two parts: a central section and a gallery separated by a portico, where the magnificent Mayan friezes from Yaxchilån are exhibited. The central section displays the large pieces of the collection on two platformscylindrical and pyramidal-, while an Aztec serpent mounted on a stele receives the visiting public before the entrance. One side of this central section is enclosed by a semi-suspended glass display case containing ritual objects covered in turquoise mosaics. The other three sides are lined with floor-to-ceiling display cases for pieces requiring special security. The room was conceived as a stone precinct evoking the spirit of ancient Mesoamerican architecture.


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Owner Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores Architects Teodoro Gonzalez de Le贸n, Francisco Serrano Collaborator Arq. Antonio Rodr铆guez Estructural design Diseno y Supervision, S. C. (DYS) Lighting design Starco Construction area 5,077 m2 Construction Grupo Mirsa construcciones, S.A. de C.V.


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A central patio (measuring 24 meters, in diameter) with its great 30meter.high trees articulates the two volumes of the building: the Embassy proper and the Consulate. The Embassy, whose main entrance gives onto the center of the patio, has two floors of offices with plenty of natural light. The

ambassador’s office is marked by the upper-floor balcony. The Consulate and Cultural Institute have independent entrances from the street. The composition is closed for security reasons, and the forms used recall the Mayan culture common to both countries.


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Owner Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores Architects Teodoro Gonzalez de León, J. Francisco Serrano Collaborators Jose Arce Gargollo, Oscar A. Rodríguez Castañeda German associate firm Assmann Contractor Groth Gruppe Construction Hochtief Construction area 3,300 m2

The Mexican Embassy in Berlin is the winning design for a competition held in 1997 in which eight groups of architects participated. The new embassy building enjoys a privileged location in the center of Berlin, on Klingelhöfer Avenue, one of the capital’s most important thoroughfares, just a hundred meters from the Tiergarten. The building occupies a 1,100-square-meter block at the corner of Rauchstrasse. It is bordered by two pedestrian streets that lead to a small park in the heart of the area known as the Klingelhöfer triangle. Like other buildings in the area, the embassy is 18 meters high and its facades are aligned with those of its neighbors.


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The idea was to create a building with an unmistakable image, one that would assume a lasting place in the urban memory. Also a distinct form that would represent Mexico, and that, needless to say, would meet the urban standards of this privileged site. The main facade is a portico 18 meters high that frames two planes of vertical brise-soleils, one slanted and one cambered. Together they configure a bay that signals the entrance. On the lateral facade along Rauchstrasse, there is a second, narrower portico with vertical brise-soleils. These allow complete transparency form inside: a dynamic effect that depends on the position of the observer. The interplay of porticoes and planes creates an effect of monumentality, lightness and transparency that expresses the complex reality of Mexico: a young country heir to millenarian traditions.


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Architect Teodoro Gonzalez de León Collaborator Miguel Barbachano Osorio Structural design Diseño y Supervisión, S.C. “DYS, S.C.” Electric design Constructora de Obras Electricas, “COESA” Hydraulics and sanitary design Garza Maldonado y Asociados, S.C. Construction area 650 m2


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Located on an almost square lot in the central Hipódromo-Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, the house is surrounded by tall buildings. Placed atop a platform 1.2 meters up from street level, the house is organized around a patio. Each element of the program adopts a different form; a tunnel vault contains the vestibule, the living room and the library; a cube contains the painter’s studio; a rectangular prism, placed on the graded platform that conceals the garage, houses the bedrooms, and a cylinder that cuts a cross the vault contains the services. The whole constitutes a careful combination of different volumes, with slight rotations that optimize views of the patio. Exposed white concrete and Hermosa stone was used for the interior floors and the patio.


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Owner Fondo de Cultura Económica Architect Teodoro Gonzalez de León Collaborator Jose Arce Gargollo Estructural design Colinas de Buen Air-condition design Ingeniería en Aire y Control Electrical design Ingeniería A. G. S.A. Hydraulics and sanitary designs Garza Maldonado y Asociados Lighting design STARCO Soffit of an Architrave Art work Jan Hendrix Interior design Luís de Regil Construction Tradeco Infraestructura, Compañía Contratista Nacional Renewed area 2,945 m2 New construction area 281 m2 Parking area 1,310 m2 Total 4,536 m2


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The “Bella Epoca” Cultural Center occupies the former “Lido” movie theater, which was conceived by the American architect Charles Lee in 1942. Its design is simple and efficient: the circular canopy overhanging the entrance is heralded by a tower rising to 35m, and flanked by commercial premises on the avenues on its Northeast and North sides. A false tiled roof hides the volume of the theater, located at the back of the lot. The metal structure of the canopy was salvaged in its entirety, and its roof replaced by a glass cover. The foyer, to which 3 circular skylights were added, was transformed into an exhibition area. The former commercial premises on the Northeast side were turned into offices and storage rooms. A conference room and a movie theater seating 135 were built on top of these. An underground parking space for 55 cars was added on the North side. The bookstore occupies the former theater and the commercial premises on the North. The latter were opened up so as to provide

complete transparence towards and from the street. The store comprises two areas on different levels, connected by a set of steps -interrupted by a sloped garden-, and a trapezoidal skylight. The larger room has a ceiling height of 6m. Its double height book case on the southern and eastern walls is accessed by means of an elevated glass-floored walkway (2,20m wide). This space also accommodates informal reading areas, with tall palm trees, and a coffee shop. The lower level is given over to the children’s bookstore and the cash registers. The ceiling, consisting of 256 translucent laminated glass plates, serigraphic with art work by Jan Hendrix, distributes uniform light across the whole room. Two large skylights opened into it stream natural daylight throughout the reading areas. The renovation has preserved the integrity of the façades, their moldings and details, as well as the tiled roofs. None of the added elements, such as the trapezoidal skylight and the conference room, can be seen from the street.


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2 Architects Teodoro Gonzalez de León, J. Francisco Serrano, Carlos Tejeda Collaborators Jose Arce Gargollo, Antonio Rodriguez Cruz, Juan Espinoza Campoverde, Jose María Larios Perez, Carlos Gutierrez Juarez, Miguel Barbachano Osorio Structural Design Diseño y Supervisión Hydraulic, sanitary and fire prevention design Garza Maldonado y Asociados, MC Ingenieros, GHA y Asociados Electrical design Guillermo Aguilar Campuzano, Tecno Proyectos, S.C., Ignacio González Castillo, González Karg y Asociados, Ingeniería en Instalaciones Integrales, Proyectos de Ingeniería Eléctrica y Sistemas Automatizados Air-conditioning design DIPRO, Calefacción y Ventilación, GARVEL, Hubard y Bourlon Security and special installations Grupo Marpe Lighting STARCO, LUZ + FORMA Constructors Grupo CAABSA, ICA, GUTZA, CONSTRUCABI, COREY


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The Arcos Bosques office complex in western Mexico City is the result of a winning project for a 1990 competition. It is a high-density real estate development, the largest ever undertaken in Mexico City with an extremely complex program, to be completed in eight stages. The central idea of the complex is to create an urban precinct, a space visually isolated from its surroundings. It consists of two tall volumestwo 160-meter-high towers in the form of a doorframe, rising form a slope covered in vegetation-and three low volumes-six-story buildings distributed on the northern, eastern and western sides of the lot and conceived as urban walls that enclose the complex and at the same time block out views of the surroundings. The facades of all the buildings are of concrete chiseled to expose its white marble grain.


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Owner Grupo DANHOS Architect Teodoro Gonzalez de Le贸n Collaborator Antonio Rodriguez, Juan Espinoza Campoverde, Carlos Gutierrez Estructural design Ing. Enrique Martinez Romero S.A Air-condition design I. A. C. S. A. Electrical design Ing. Abel Garc铆a, ETRA Hydraulics and sanitary design Garza Maldonado y Asociados SC Lighting design Starco, Construlita Special installations SOLCI, DAT Construction IDEURBAN Construction area 173, 000 m2


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The project aims at introducing commercial and recreational activities into the public space of the Paseo de la Reforma. A treed space protected from the rain by a glass roof is flanked by two svelte 25-story towers-125 meters highthat open their curved facades towards Reforma. The two curved forms configure an entrance to the pedestrian street and incorporate the public space into the complex. All entrances are from the pedestrian street.


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Owner UNAM Architect Teodoro Gonzalez de León Collaborator Antonio Rodríguez Structural design Diseño y Supervisión Air-condition design Ingeniería en Aire y Control Electric design Diseños Electricos Complejos Hydraulics and sanitary design Garza Maldonado y Asociados Lighting design LIGHTEAM Acoustic design Omar Saad Special installations LOGEN Construction Ingenieros Civiles Asociados Construction area 18,000 m2


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The museum is located on one side of a new plaza which integrates it with the university’s cultural center three extant buildings. This new space serves as a pedestrian access to the rest of the cultural complex, a meeting place and an outdoor exhibition and contemporary art performance area. The building consists in a two level circular structure which fits in naturally with the diagonal position of the access road and dialogues with the sharp forms of the surrounding buildings. Its very shape opens it up to the perspectives of both the plaza and the landscape. The public space leads into the building by way of a transparent double height corridor, which divides the museum into two different sections: the larger one, on the western side, houses the exhibition rooms and service units, the smaller one, on the eastern side, the free access public areas. All exhibition rooms, all located/situated on one floor, at the same level as the plaza, are distributed among 6 groups of different dimensions and heights, with controlled natural zenithal light, and interlinked by three interior paths lit through their extremities, as well as by three patios and two terraces. The patios and terraces also serve as exhibition spaces (one of the patios provides light to the public areas on the lower level). These spaces are meant to meet the demands of contemporary art: direct public access to the works of art and dimensions and lightning geared to the needs of artists, museology, and curators. Four of the rooms give out onto the plaza, allowing for their contents to be appreciated by the public outside. Restricted areas, located on the lower level, are accessed through the northern part of the building, where control and surveillance units, the staff’s entrance and a double trailer dock are located. The materials used are exposed white concrete and clear as well as white serigraphic tempered glass.


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Teodoro Gonzalez De Leon WAM  

WAM - the magazine of the International Academy of Architecture.