Mexico has architectural treasures with a rich history and diverse cultural influences. From the ancient ruins of the Mayan and Aztec civilisations to the grandiose colonial buildings of the Spanish conquest, these are the architectural testaments to its rich cultural and vibrant history.

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Old Mexico_©

One of the most famous examples of Mexico’s architectural legacy is the ancient city of Chichen Itza. This Mayan city, located in the Yucatan Peninsula, is known for its impressive pyramid, the Temple of Kukulcan, considered one of the world’s seven wonders. Other significant buildings in the city include the Temple of the Warriors and the Observatory, as well as many renowned colonial structures considered architectural masterpieces, making the country’s architecture a treasure to be explored and admired. This also clearly states that its architectural heritage reflects its diverse cultural influences, presented in various timelines throughout its rich history.

Translation from various styles to modern architecture in Mexico: a timeline

Mexico City is one of the oldest cities that has been inhabited continuously. The earliest known architectural structures in Mexico were the Mesoamerican pyramids built by the Mayan civilization. These pyramids were used for religious and ceremonial purposes and were made of stone and other materials, such as stucco and plaster.

As the Spanish conquered Mexico in the 16th century, they introduced their architectural styles, such as Gothic and Baroque. This was evident through the construction of churches, other religious buildings and houses designed for the wealthy.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Mexican architecture began to incorporate more indigenous elements, such as the use of colourful tiles and patterns, as well as a focus on open spaces and natural light. Along with the change in modern essentials, the architecture reflected the construction of large, modern buildings such as office towers and shopping malls over time.

This period saw the rise of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles and the introduction of the International Style. Examples of this style can be seen in the construction of cinemas, theatres, and other public buildings.

From 1940 to the present, the architectural style of Mexico can be characterised by the use of clean lines, geometric shapes, and the incorporation of new materials and technologies.

The influence of geography and people on the style

Geography and the people of Mexico have played a significant role in influencing the style of modern architecture in the country. The country’s landscape, climate, and natural resources have all influenced the design and materials used in modern architecture. Mexico’s hot and dry climate has led to the development of architecture incorporating natural ventilation and shading to keep buildings cool. This has resulted in using large windows and balconies and incorporating courtyards and gardens into the design of buildings.

The country’s abundant natural resources, such as wood, stone, and clay, have also influenced the design of modern architecture in Mexico. These materials have been used to create unique and sustainable buildings in harmony with the natural environment.

Mexico’s cultural and historical heritage has also played a role in shaping modern architecture in the country. Many modern buildings incorporate traditional elements, such as brightly coloured facades and intricate patterns and designs, that reflect the country’s vibrant and diverse culture.

Modern architecture in Mexico: an overview

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New Mexico_©

A combination of traditional Mexican motifs with modernist principles characterises modern architecture in Mexico. The architecture style has been influenced by various sources, including the country’s pre-Columbian past, the international modernist movement, and the works of many individual architects. These influences have combined to create a unique and diverse architectural landscape in Mexico, with buildings and structures that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Mexican modernism emerged in the 1920s and became popular in the 1950s. It responded to the country’s newfound political and economic stability following the Mexican Revolution. European and North American architectural styles, such as the International and Bauhaus movement, heavily influenced Mexican modernism.

Examples of outstanding modern architecture in Mexico

Casa Gilardi

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Casa Gilardi_©architectuul

Casa Luis Barragán in Mexico City Designed by the renowned architect Luis Barragán, this house is known for its vibrant colours and minimalist design. Another critical element of Barragan’s design is the integration of nature into the architecture of the space. The residence features many outdoor spaces and gardens, which create a sense of connection between the indoors and outdoors. In addition to its vibrant colour palette, Casa Luis also showcases Barragan’s use of geometric shapes and forms. The exterior of the building is defined by its sharp, angular lines and clean, minimalist design. This is echoed in the interior spaces, which feature a variety of geometric shapes and forms, including circular windows and sharp, angular doorways.

Soumaya Museum

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Museo Soumaya_©archdaily

Museum Soumaya, located in Mexico City, is a stunning example of modern architecture. Designed by architect Fernando Romero, the museum is known for its unique and eye-catching design. One of the most striking features of the museum is its outer shell, composed of 16,000 hexagonal mirrored-steel tiles. The building’s shape is also notable, with a curved and organic form reminiscent of a human figure. It is a beautiful and innovative example of modern architecture.

La Tallera /Frida Escobedo

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La Tallera_©archdaily

La Tallera gallery, designed by Frida Escobedo, is a stunning example of contemporary architecture. Using materials such as concrete and steel creates a modern and industrial aesthetic. At the same time, incorporating greenery and natural light adds warmth and organic beauty and seamlessly blends modern and organic elements. The attention to detail and wise use of materials makes it an exceptional architectural achievement.

Museo Internacional del Barroco

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Museo internacional del barroco_©archdaily

The Museo Internacional del Barroco by Toyo Ito is a stunning example of modern architecture that seamlessly integrates with its historical surroundings. The museum is located in the heart of Puebla, Mexico, a city known for its rich cultural heritage and baroque architecture. The museum’s minimalist and elegant design, with a monolithic white structure that contrasts beautifully with the surrounding buildings. Its fluidic walls highlight its style but form a single volume.


  1. Articles

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Nicholas (no date) Study of Chicano Mexican Architecture in the Modern world world. Available at: file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Study%20of%20Chicano-Mexican%20Architecture%20in%20the%20Modern%20World%20by%20Nicholas%20Law%20-%20Paper.pdf  (Accessed: December 10, 2022). 

Zhou, P. (2020) Mexico’s geography reveals potential, ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo. Available at: (Accessed: December 10, 2022). 

Samurai (2021) Architecture as a cultural chronicle: An examination of Mexican and American architectural approaches, Architects Design Group. Available at: (Accessed: December 10, 2022). 

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Fracalossi, I. (2019) Soumaya Museum / FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: (Accessed: December 10, 2022). 

Fracalossi, I. (2013) La Tallera / Frida Escobedo, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: (Accessed: December 10, 2022). 

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  1. Images/visual mediums

Mexico (no date) imgur. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022).  

New Mexico (no date) imgur. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022)

Casa Gilardi (no date) architectuul. Available at: (Accessed: December 10, 2022). 

Museo Soumaya (no date) .archdaily. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022). 

La Tallera (no date) archdaily. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022). 

Museo internacional del barroco (no date) archdaily. Available at: (Accessed: December 11, 2022). 



Krishna Priya Parthasarathy is a persistent human and an architect, who is keen on unlearning her self-intuited perspectives of architecture, philosophy, and life. She believes that words said, holds much more patience and power in creating a thinking that can transform into a dialogue and a dialogue into a change, which she wishes to bring within the readers and the dwellers. She truly believes that rethinking is the best thing one can kindle to engage in thought-provoking ideas.