General Archive of the Nation


Client:  Federal District Government

Type:  Contest

Location:  Mexico City, Mexico

Status:  Built

Year:  2011

a l 911 Team:  Jose Castillo, Siadee Springall,

Ernesto Lomelí, Iván Cervantes, Ricardo García, Humberto Castro, Akemi Sato, Edgar Romero, José María Palacios, Tania Guerrero, Charlie Howe, Diego Escamilla, Jorge Zuart, Iván Villegas, Luis Gómez Regalado.

Partners:  Productora (Carlos Bedoya, Aberl Perles, Víctor Jaime, Wonne Ickx)

Project Description:

The former Palace of Lecumberri, General Archive of the Nation, was of a great architectural value because of the relationship between its panoptic nature and its open streets, and because of the visuals generated by the cells. This enclosed space was paradoxically open. However, this relationship was destroyed when the building was renovated in the 1980s to make room for the General Archive of the Nation.

The purpose for the new General Archive of the Nation project is to integrate the space in order to increase its functionality and its legibility. The intervention is meant to be discrete, and it is also meant to enhance the historic legacy through the use of a stark geometry.

The central patio is reimagined to include a partial roof in the shape of a ring. This area will serve as a spatial link that helps articulate the general program of the rest of the building. The patio will also provide space for multiple activities, and encourages the different ways of occupying the space.


The new programs for the General Archive of the Nation complex takes place in the spaces between the galleries. The new design will keep and highlight the character of the historic buildings.

These interventions are meant to recover the original idea of Antonio Torres Torrija, which can be appreciated in the old photographic archive. The archive reveals the importance of the open streets in the context of the general program of the building. It is within these spaces that a successful intervention can be achieved without damaging the historic value of the adjacent buildings.

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