While Mexico City is flush with the ever-popular haunts for visitors, sometimes it’s nice to step away from these spots and take in a different side of this urban wonder. Not far north of the Centro Histórico is a place where you can do just that. And, if you’re a bibliophile or fancy cool, modern architecture, consider yourself even luckier because Biblioteca Vasconcelos will satisfy both passions. Built in 2006 during the Fox Administration, this library is named after one of the City’s well-respected philosophers and educators, José Vasconcelos. Its impressive design was the brainchild of Mexican architect Alberto Kalach.
Just walking distance from the “Buena Vista” Metro stop, the library is a complex of three buildings in alignment with another. From the exterior they seem like your typical concrete, metal and glass office structures, but once inside the arrangement of space, light and flow of the building smacks of modern architectural ingenuity. The first thing you’ll notice is the cantilevered shelving that forms a cascading effect of books suspended throughout the central portion of the structure. This effect clearly stamps its signature on this impressive work by Kalach.
At different intervals spanning the eight floors, there are “viewing” spots where you can carefully gaze at the inner core of the library without any obstructions whatsoever. It’s here, where even an untrained eye, can appreciate the play of light, symmetry and architectural engineering at its best. If all this wasn’t impressive enough and once you’re settled in and beyond the “wow” factor of the interior, there are also terraces on several levels with great views of the City’s skyline, especially the ones facing west, capturing a great sunset.
Facilities for dance, theatre and film
Space for concerts, conferences, classes and art expositions
Multimedia, children’s and music areas
Inter-library borrowing system
Area: 41,288 square meters distributed over eight levels
Garden area: 26,000 square meters including over 168 species of vegetation
Library holdings: In excess of 1.5 million books
Computers with internet access: 617
Study areas: 4000
Auditorium seating capacity: 498
** Facts courtesy of CONACULTA & Biblioteca Vasconcelos
Located in the colonia “Buena Vista”, near the corner of Eje 1 Norte Mosqueta & Aldama.
Near the “Buena Vista” Metro station
OPEN: Daily, 8:30am-7:30pm
I am a contributing writer for the Mexico Today Project, which, along with Marca País – Imagen de México “ is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.”
Disclaimer: **Please note that I am being compensated for participation in this project and for attending its launch in Oaxaca. Also note that all posts and written contributions by me will be expressed in an unbiased form with all opinions reflecting my own.