RENOWNED ARCHITECT PEDRO RAMÍREZ VÁZQUEZ
The Late Mexican Architect Created Emblematic Landmarks for Mexico City
MEXICO CITY – April 30, 2013 – Beloved Mexican architect, Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, who succumbed to pneumonia April 16, 2013 at the age of 94, undoubtedly left permanent imprints on his hometown of Mexico City. The architect, credited for leading the modernization of Mexico, designed numerous innovative structures that were among the most significant of their time. Mexico City invites architect enthusiasts, history lovers, and travelers alike to experience Mexico City through the works of Ramírez Vázquez by visiting these landmark sites located throughout the capital, including the National Museum of Anthropology, Museum of the Templo Mayor, the Modern Art Museum, the Guadalupe Shrine and the Azteca Stadium, among others.
A culture aficionado’s paradise, the National Museum of Anthropology opened its doors in 1964 at the base of Chapultepec Park. The venue’s esthetics alone is viscerally impressive – a marble-based structure that features a serene courtyard at its center that is partially covered by a large canopy supported by a single carved bronze column. Surrounding the center are 26 elaborate exhibit rooms where visitors can learn about Mexico’s fascinating history and view ancient artifacts.
Another of Ramírez Vázquez’s notable sites is the Museum of the Templo Mayor, set in the Historical Center of the City and on the archaeological site of the Templo Mayor, the main temple of the Aztecs. The original Templo Mayor included a pyramid with two temples at its peak that were dedicated to Aztec deities: Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, and Tlaloc, the god of rain. To preserve the integrity of its location, Ramírez Vázquez created a structure that would not distract from its setting and neighboring colonial structures. Showcasing a design shaped as the original Templo Mayor, the museum has two sections – the North dedicated to Tlaloc and the South for Huitzilopochtli – where visitors can study the site and recount the Aztec beliefs, while also viewing interesting artifacts discovered within the temple ruins.
Within the lush Chapultepec Park is another museum designed by the famed architect, the Modern Art Museum, where one can experience the Mexican art scene of the twentieth century. Part of the National Institute of Fine Arts, INBA, the museum showcases modern and contemporary collections, with traveling and permanent exhibits of works by popular artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera,David Alfaro Siqueiros, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, among others.
One of Ramírez Vázquez masterpieces is the Basilica of Guadalupe, the most-visited Catholic shrine in the world, located in the northern neighborhood of Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo. Built between 1974 and 1976, the Basilica’s is renowned for its sweeping, circular lines and unique shape that permits views of the Virgin from any vantage point. A must-see site experienced by over 2 million visitors every year, the Basilica of Guadalupe is the end of an annual pilgrimage that takes place every 12th of December for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Azteca Stadium, located in southern area of Mexico City, is the largest sports stadium in the Americas and third largest in the world, with a capacity of 105,064. It is also home to the national Mexican football team. Not only was it created by Ramírez Vázquez, but he is also helped make it the venue for football of the 1968 Summer Olympics. The Azteca Stadium is also the only stadium in the world to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals. While visiting this magnificent venue, one can experience the liveliness of Mexican love for sports by watching a soccer match.
Other noted works by Ramírez Vázquez to be viewed include the medical school of the National University, a modern structure raised on stilts that features a mural that depicts Mexico’s multiracial culture, as well as the Foreign Affairs Secretariat tower in Tlatelolco, close to downtown Mexico City.
Vázquez earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in 1943. Awards he achieved for his creative and innovative concepts, as well as his contributions to industrial designs, include the National Arts Award in 1973, Cemex Award in 2003 and IDSA’s Special Award in 1969. He was also the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Human Settlements from 1976 – 1982, during president’s José López Portillo government. He was also a professor at UNAM where he received an honorary degree. Born during the Mexican revolution on April 16, 1919, Mr. Vázquez is survived by four children.
About Mexico City
Established nearly 700 years ago, Mexico City is a sophisticated metropolis set amid a beautiful, ancient city. More than 12 million people flock to the destination each year to enjoy its countless offerings including striking archeological and historical sites, story-telling museums and art galleries, lively cultural events, celebrated gastronomy, bustling street markets, and much more.