El Faro del Comercio is an orange monolith lighthouse designed by the famous Mexican architect Luis Barragan and built by the architect Raúl Ferrara in 1984. This artistic monument is one of the most recognizable sites to see. This tall lighthouse is known for its architectural characteristics. 

Faro del Comercio by Luis Barragan: The Lighthouse of Commerce sheet1
The Orange Monolith © www.esculturasymonumentos.com

It is located in the city of Monterrey; Mexico. It is in the vicinity of the city’s cathedral. This lighthouse was constructed to celebrate the first 100 years of the city’s Chamber of Commerce. It is a monument that marks the beginning of a new service sector. It is known for its unique color and its architectural characteristic. 

Concept | Faro del Comercio

The lighthouse was built not only to commemorate 100 years of the National Chamber of Commerce but to mark the beginning of a brand-new era of the new service sector. The lighthouse is a modern tower that marks the new age of Monterrey, a new modern city (1970). 

The project was controversial since a lighthouse in the city center was out of place. The architect believed that this tall lighthouse would be significant to signify the change of the city, marking a new era of the service sector of Monterrey. The modern design, construction of the trade lighthouse marked a new age. 


It is located in the MacroPlaza in front of the city cathedral, municipal offices. The plaza is located in the heart of the city Monterrey as it becomes a landmark which is of central point of interest in the city center. 

Faro del Comercio by Luis Barragan: The Lighthouse of Commerce sheet2
Tower location_© www.esculturasymonumentos.com

The lighthouse is asymmetrically positioned, in the southeast section of the MacroPlaza, in alignment with the Monterrey Casino and the orthogonal boundaries of the square. This tower was inaugurated on December 7, 1984.

Faro del Comercio by Luis Barragan: The Lighthouse of Commerce sheet3
Plan showing the MacroPlaza and the tower_© www.barragan-foundation.org

The MacroPlaza is located in the city center, containing the Faro del Comercio, Fountain, Gardens, Monuments. It is the center point of attraction in the city of Monterrey. The tower is situated in the southern part of the plaza.


This enormous tower reaches up to a height of 69.80 m, 1.83 m thickness, and 12.33 m long dimensions. This tower can be visible from various parts of the city, catching people’s attention. The tower is a hollow tower constructed using reinforced concrete, painted over(360litres). One narrow side of this tower is left open to accommodate a service ladder (346 steps) leading to the top of the lighthouse that is accessible.

Faro del Comercio by Luis Barragan: The Lighthouse of Commerce sheet4
Service Stairs_© www.flickr.com 
Faro del Comercio by Luis Barragan: The Lighthouse of Commerce sheet5
Top view_© www.pinterest.com

The Faro del Comercio has the shape of a battery of four rectangular silos. The tower in the upper floors where the intermediate walls are omitted. 

Parts of the tower | Faro del Comercio

Starting from ground level. The upper parapet level is 1.50 meters. The upper deck is 3 meters high for lighting equipment. The second floor is 3 meters high for the machine room of the service elevator and one more arrival floor of the elevator.

Lighthouse during the night time_© www.esculturasymonumentos.com
Lighthouse during the night time_© www.esculturasymonumentos.com

The tower is called the “Trade Lighthouse.” At the topmost level, a green laser-lit at night. The green laser was first projected into the sky on 4 January 1985. The green laser could be observed from many parts of the city. The presence of the tower is quite evident even during the night. The use of lasers was very much avant-garde, and it represents that Monterrey was evolving in the service and goods sector of the city. 

Mexico is considered a landmark for the National Artistic Movement. It has a characteristic orange colour that creates an impact on an individual’s eye. It is located in the centre of the city with the city’s cathedral as a backdrop. This monument is praised by the local community of Mexico for its architecture. The visual balance of the tower, the cathedral, and the scenic mountains in the city is unique.

Visual Balance_© www.pinterest.com 
Visual Balance_© www.pinterest.com 

The tower is recognized as one of the monuments of the National Artistic Movement. The tower is recognized for its architecture, construction by the people. The color of the structure is unique and is the artistic character of Mexico.

Night view__© www.pinterest.com
Night view__© www.pinterest.com

The tower during the day as well as nighttime outshines the other structures with its tall architectural stature and also due to the show of the green lasers.

The tower was very much recognized as an architectural marvel during its time of construction and for a very long time. Eventually, it is a little forgotten by the people. It is considered a normal backdrop for the people. The Faro del Comercio is lost among all the sculptures in the MacroPlaza. The tower however is etched in architectural history as one of the most remarkable monuments which depict the change of an era.


Arpitha is pursuing her bachelor's degree.She has passion for writing and design.She interests herself in designing and writing about architecture. She believes architecture has a prominent impact in any person's life and we architects have the ability to create change. She loves exploring new ideas, concepts, thoughts and believes there is no end to learning!!!