Photo: Piedras Negras Coahuila – El Teatro de la Ciudad
One of the true greats in Mexican architecture has died at the age of 94 in Mexico City. Vazquez designed some of Mexico’s most iconic structures that includes the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Complejo Cultural Puebla Siglo XXI, and the Azteca Stadium. One of his most unique structures was built outside of Mexico City in Piedras Negras Coahuila – El Teatro de la Ciudad.
During his 60-year career, Vazquez is credited with bringing the cultural image of Mexico to the world with his designs many located in Mexico City. Design experts noted Vazquez sought “to display the culture of Mexico, to bring its presence to the world with great dignity, and a contemporary language.”
From 1958 to 1964 he lead Mexico’s massive school construction initiative. He developed the concept of prefabricated structures for Mexico incorporating the variety of climates and natural resources in the country. He along with then President Lopez Mateos are credited with constructing 30,000 rural classrooms in three years.
Vazquez was also known as a great advocate for public architecture creating the Society of Friends of the Museum of Anthropology and heading several world expositions designing the Mexican Pavillions at the World Expo in 1958, 1962, 1969 and 2007 at the Expo Sevilla. In addition he taught for 15 years at the National School of Architecture at UNAM. Stateside Vazquez designed the Benito Juarez High School in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois.