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BBvA Bancomer Tower

LegoRogers

BBvA Bancomer Tower
By Raymund Ryan -

The Paseo de la Reforma is today a boulevard of high-rises, a broad axis of asphalt and traffic leading from one corner of the Alameda Central, the historic urban garden close to the origin of Aztec and subsequent Spanish Imperial power, past international hotels and corporate offices to decant into the verdant expanse of Chapultepec Park where museums, a zoo and the presidential residence, Los Pinos, are interspersed amid the foliage. It is at this crucial point of decantation, this threshold between commercial construction and ludic nature, that BBVA Bancomer has now erected one of the tallest towers in Latin America.

This is a tower that due to its height, its pivotal placement in the city, its client resources, and its architects’ reputations will inevitably be scrutinized for symbolic power, interpreted as a statement of contemporary thinking in workplace design, urbanization, and corporate iconicity. The building’s formal inauguration in February was marked by the participation of President Peña Nieto and a lavish firework display visible from all cardinal points of the Mexican capital. It’s totemic, this tower, both for the economy of the nation and for what one might term the cosmopolitanization of its construction industry.

The Legorreta® practice is one of the most successful in modern Mexico, one that, since Ricardo Legorreta’s vividly pigmented Camino Real hotel, completed for the 1968 Olympics on a site not far from BBVA Bancomer, has realized a broad range of residential and institutional projects both at home and abroad. Richard Rogers, on the other hand, is associated, together with his London-based practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, with advanced technology and bravura structure as well as an articulate concern for democratic well-being in the global city. The two architecs, it seems, were friends of long standing.

Ricardo Legorreta died in 2011. His practice,...

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