Mexico City, Mexico


National Library


49,000 square meters



Key Staff

Dolan Daggett, Jose Herrasti, Eric McNevin, Joseph Botticella, Ray Delgado, Alfredo Gonzalez, Raul Garcia, Eugene Glekel, Kyoung Kim, Jean Kim, Felix Lee, Grit Leipert, Emil Mertzel, Scott Nakao, Fausto Nunez, Rives Rash, Jennifer Silbert, Tanja Speckmann, Raymond Tombokan, John Tsai

Key Consultants

Englekirk & Sabol - Structural Engineers

Michael A Keller - Library Consultant


Concurso Internacional de Arquitectura Biblioteca de Mexico, 2nd place, 2003.

AIA/NEXT LA, Design Honor Award, Jose Vasconcelos Library, 2004.

The design strategy for the Biblioteca de México extends the organizational systems of the surrounding neighborhood into the building, thus suggesting new prospects for public participation, interactive learning, and exhibition opportunities.

The site is first connected from north to south through the new “Calle de los Libros.” The surrounding streets extend onto the site and intersect with thisNew Street, forming the main organizational system for the New Library.

The northern end of the Calle de los Libros is excavated, leaving an amphitheater, gently sloping toward upward towards the Buenavista Station. Temporary seating, oriented toward the new street, can be placed within the New Amphitheater, or exhibits can be mounted over the sloping surface.

At the northern end of the Calle de los Libros a portion of the generating station is extended over the railroad tracks to house a restaurant with broad views of the city.

The soil excavated to create the New Amphitheater is re-used and stacked as a linear, acoustic mountain along the western edge of the site. This provides a large open green space for the library visitors to enjoy, and also shields noise from the adjacent Buena Vista Train Station.

At each intersection of Calle de los Libros a courtyard is created demarcating an activity center within the library, and also serving as large outdoor reading room. The walls of these courtyards slope southward to bring sunlight into the courtyard and the library.

The main entry, located at the Southern corner of the New Library, is folded and lifted five stories vertically to create a new plaza that connects the Biblioteca de Mexico to the Buenavista Train Station.