Building a Modern Nation: Mexico's State-Sponsored Modern Architecture, 1925-1934


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


History of Art


Seven state-sponsored architectural projects for health and education in Mexico City built between 1925 and 1934 reveal the distinctive development of modern architecture in Mexico. These projects reflected social and political questions about race, nationalism, progress emerging in the wake of revolution, and architects’ ambition to create a national modern architecture. Trends in painting, sculpture, and photography informed its development. Local conditions and Mexico’s ambition to position itself in an industrialized world economy shaped the work of the nation’s most important architects as they responded to and participated in international architectural trends. Mexican architectural modernism shared with European modernism a commitment to reform and to cleanse, and its enthusiasm for new technologies and vocabularies. As Mexico sought solutions to its particular versions of problems that challenged countries around the world in these years, its capital became a center for modern architecture in the Americas.