A balcony at Círculo Mexicano Courtesy Gabriel Monroy The practice of converting aging buildings for different, more timely functions isn’t new in Mexico City. As in other global capitals, the shift from manufacturing to service industries and evolving demographic patterns have produced a growing stock of abandoned or under-occupied structures, many with great potential. Coinciding with it is the need for spaces that fit the changing dynamics of today’s urban economies and that accommodate models of living and working, which didn’t exist a few decades ago—or not in the neighborhoods where they have rapidly emerged recently. Some standout instances of adaptive reuse throughout the megalopolis include a former cinema that is now one of the city’s best bookstores (Centro Cultural Bella Época, refurbished for its current purpose by architect Teodoro González de León); a former record shop housing a leading art gallery ( OMR , designed by Max von Werz , Mateo Riestra, and José Arnaud-Bello); and a disused railway power station that serves as the Biblioteca Vasconcelos’s majestic greenhouse, by Alberto Kalach . The past year has been no less traumatic for Mexico and its capital than for the rest of the world. This makes it all the […]


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