70 Years of Engineering and Architecture Through The Lens of Art

By Fundación ICA, A.C.

On the occasion of ICA's 70th anniversary and in collaboration with the Dolores Olmedo Museum, this exhibit explores through three works of art by Juan O'Gorman, Francisco Eppens, and Luis Nishisawa the construction of the metropolis, Mexico City.

La Ciudad de México (1949) by Juan O´GormanFundación ICA, A.C.

Mexico City | 1949

The exhibition overlaps the photographs of the ICA Aerial Photography and Collection of the Historical Archive of the ICA Foundation with works of painting and murals. "Mexico City Landscape" shows the urban growth of Mexico City during the early stages of urban and demographic transformations the country's capital was undergoing.

Vista Aérea de la calle Juárez en el centro de la Ciudad de México (1963) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Juárez Avenue | 1963

O'Gorman offers a panoramic view of the urban hubs of the forties, with colonial domes, construction sites, functionalist architecture, and art-deco meshed together, we see iconic sites such as the La Nacional Building, the Teresa Cinema, and in the background, the street of San Juan Letrán. This photograph captured by the Mexican Aerial Company 14 years later, shows how buildings began to crowd the landscape with the Latin American Tower rising from the horizon and how the historical city center began to evolve, stretching from the west to the east

Frontón México (1929) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Frontón México | 1928

Inaugurated in 1929 with a design by Teodoro Kunhardt and Joaquín Capilla, the Frontón México has become, over the decades, a popular place for both entertainment and social gatherings, as it is located opposite the Monument to the Revolution and the Plaza de la República.

Edificio Ermita (1930) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Ermita Building | 1935

The Ermita Building is one of the few buildings that continue to stand practically without any alterations in the Tacubaya neighborhood of Mexico City. It is a building designed by the architect Juan Segura, who was in charge of the Mier y Pesado Foundation and a pioneer in designing mixed-use buildings that combined commercial with residential.

Sanatorio de Tuberculosos en Huipulco al sur de la Ciudad de M‚xico (1935) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Sanatorium for Patients with Tuberculosis of Huipulco | 1936

The Sanatorium for Tubercular Patients of Huipulco began its construction in the late 1920s and was completed in 1936 during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas. The project represented a fundamental advance for the sanitary infrastructure of Mexico City.

Puerto Aéreo de la ciudad de México (1939) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Central Air Port of Mexico City | 1939

An airport had to be built until 1939 to the opening of a terminal in the neighborhood, Colonia Peñón de los Baños east of the city.

Escuela Normal de Maestros (1946) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

National School of Teachers | 1945

In 1945, this architectural proposal by Mario Pani was completed, which includes a mural by José Clemente Orozco and a sculpture by Luis Ortiz Monasterio.

Edificio el Moro sede de las oficinas de la Loteria (1940) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

El Moro Building | 1946

Mexico City experiences the greatest growth in its history in the 1940s; in the period from 1941 to 1950 alone, the area increased 47.5 percent. The El Moro Building is considered one of the first modern skyscrapers in the country's capital, located on the corner between Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida de la República.

Plano de la planta baja Edificio ICA (1950) by Ingeniero Bernardo Quintana ArriojaFundación ICA, A.C.

ICA offices | 1947

Associated Civil Engineers (ICA) was founded on July 4, 1947 for the bidding of the construction of the Presidente Alemán Urban Center. The first offices of the company were in the house of Engineer Bernardo Quintana Arrioja in the street of Xola 1710 in the Narvarte neighborhood. Later, they moved to a building at Heriberto Frías 623 in the same neighborhood and then they moved to the San Rafael area in Artes 142. In the 1950s the ICA Corporate was built on the streets of Mining and Río Becerra.

ICA offices | 1947

ICA's corporate purpose in 1947 included the "exploration of all the diverse branches of engineering, including pure and applied research, project development, bidding participation, the purchasing and distribution of machinery, spare parts, and commissions for Mexican and foreign brands related to engineering." The signatories, headed by Engineer Bernardo Quintana Arrioja, were 18 engineers graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of UNAM.

Camines de trasporte de carga en el Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán (1948) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán | 1947

The Presidente Alemán Uban Center was the first work completed by ICA. Located in Colonia Del Valle and built between 1947 and 1949, it is the first modern multi dwelling unit that formed part of a new housing policy promoted by the Mexican government. Between 1947 and 1974, the growth of Mexican cities was consolidated through an economic policy that was based on the promotion of trade and industrial development, which was a result of import substitution industrialization

Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán (1949) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán | 1949

This multi-family dwelling heralded the arrival of modernity during the second half of the 20th century. The first urban growth of Mexico City occurred in this period, during the presidency of Miguel Alemán Valdés, the first civilian president of the country. These multi dwellings were a symbol of a nation project known as the Benefactor State.

Ciudad Universitaria en construcción (1951) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

University Olympic Stadium | 1951

Architecture, engineering, and the plastic arts where integrated and this led to the construction of the University City of UNAM.

Mosaico digital de Ciudad Universitaria UNAM (1953) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

University Olympic Stadium | 1952

Mexico City began to spread to the south, with the creation of the University City of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on the grounds of El Pedregal de San Ángel.

Desnivel Insurgentes Norte (1952) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Insurgentes Avenue | 1952

In the 1950s, the construction of crucial avenues for Mexico City began. Avenida Insurgentes, the longest in the capital, ran from the south to the north. This photograph shows one of the first overpasses, next to the Insignia Tower in the Conjunto Urbano Nonoalco-Tlatelolco.

Vista aérea de Centro SCOP (1953) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Ministry of Communications and Public Works (SCOP) | 1953

In Mexico City, the population grew exponentially, from a million in 1930 to 3 million in 1950. In the space of one decades this figure jumped from 4 million in 1960 to 7 million in 1970. This building embodies the new vision of the government that integrated plastic arts and muralism with architecture.

Unidad Profesional Adolfo López Mateos IPN (1958) by Grupo ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Professional Unit Adolfo López Mateos IPN | 1958

The high demand for education led to the expansion of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN). For this, a specialized unit in ICA is created to develop the first buildings for IPN. By 1959, the first four buildings of the Adolfo López Mateos Professional Unit were inaugurated in the Zacatenco area. The design was supervised by Reinaldo Pérez Rayón.

Centro Medico Nacional (1961) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Century XXI National Medical Center | 1961

The National Medical Center was inaugurated in 1961 and the medical center was adorned with pictorial works alluding to health. "Los relieves" was created by the artist Francisco Zúñiga, "Aire es Vida" by Luis Nishizawa decorated the lobby of the cardiology division, and "Apología de la futura victoria de la ciencia médica” was made by the famous muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros. Other important pieces like Paralelismo histórico de la revolución científica" and “La revolución social” are located on the ground floor of the oncology unit.

Museo Anahuacalli (1953) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Anahuacalli Museum | 1963

The Anahuacalli Museum was conceived and designed by Diego Rivera and Juan O'Gorman in order to safeguard the vast collection of pre-Columbian pieces, considered to be an important one in the country. Upon his death, the project was left to his daughter Ruth Rivera and with O'Gorman. The museum was completed with the support of Dolores Olmedo.

History of Construction in Mexico (20th Century) by Francisco EppensFundación ICA, A.C.

History of construction in Mexico | 1964

Francisco Eppens represents the different layers that make up the city and its history. From the pyramids as the foundation and the colonial buildings perched on top, to the more modern buildings branching out. The work highlights a Quetzalcóatl made from steel, which crosses the mural, uniting these three historical moments with an eagle, which is a recurrent motif in the work of Eppens. He would later on reuse this motif while redesigning the Mexican national emblem in 1968.

Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores y Plaza de las Tres Culturas (1965) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Conjunto Urbano Nonoalco-Tlatelolco | 1964

El Conjunto Urbano Nonoalco-Tlatelolco, designed by Mario Pani, Luis Ramos and Ricardo de Robina, is a symbol of modernity and progress. Tlatelolco represents in a public space the diversity of Mexico's history, as Francisco Eppens reflected in his mural. He places the multi-family project, the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Church of Santiago Tlatelolco, and the Archaeological Zone of Tlatelolco in the same space as a reminder that Mexico City is a melting pot.

Museo Nacional de Antropología (1964) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

National Museum of Anthropology and History | 1964

The National Museum Plan promoted by Jaime Torres Bodet during the sixties inspired the construction of the cultural center of the National Museum of Anthropology. The architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez was in charge of the project. The Museum, which spreads across 45 thousand square meters, houses the archaeological and ethnographic pieces of the country.

Periférico Sur (1952) by Compañia Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Anillo Periférico y Viaducto Tlalpan | 1965

The Anillo Periférico of Mexico City, was thought to mark the peripheries of the city. It would allow motorists to cross the city without having to go anywhere near the complicated city center.

Hotel de México (1966) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Mexico Hotel / World Trade Center | 1966

The shift towards vertical developments not only signaled the collaboration between architects and engineers, but also a deeper understanding of how the subsoil and foundations worked, as well as seismic studies and urban development opportunities.

Vista aérea del Estadio Azteca (1966) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Azteca Stadium | 1966

A good part of the sports infrastructure that the city has was built for the 1968 Olympic Games and the 1970 World Cup, the Azteca Stadium, was designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares.

Palacio Deportes (1968) by Compañía Mexicana AerofotoFundación ICA, A.C.

Sports Palace | 1968

Built for the XIX Olympic Games, the Sports Palace was designed by the architects Félix Candela, Antonio Peyrí and Enrique Castañeda Tamborell and has a capacity for 17,800 spectators in an area of ​​6.7 hectares.

Trabajos de excavación Plaza de la Constitución (1969) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Metro Collective Transportation System | 1969

The Metro Collective Transportation System project, promoted by ICA since the 1950s, would mark a turning point for the mobility of Mexico City. The first three metro lines were inaugurated on September 4, 1969.

Glorieta de los Insurgentes Linea 1 (1969) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Glorieta de los Insurgentes | 1969

These urban developments and subsoil experiments led to the discovery of archaeological sites and important findings. This raised questions on how to protect a city's historical heritage with its eagerness to reinvent itself.

Interior de la estacion del Metro Candelaria (1970) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Metro Candelaria | 1969

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Mexico City continued to reinvent itself, including the underground networks that continued to branch out.

Estación del Metro San Lazaro Linea 1 (1969) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Metro San Lázaro | 1969

The Metro stations project involved the most important architects of the 20th century in Mexico. The architect Félix Candela was in charge of the design of the San Lázaro Station, by using low-cost and sustainable materials, he managed to cover the largest amount of space with the fewest possible pieces.

Construccion Metro Estacion Zocalo (1965) by Joaquín Martínez NavarreteFundación ICA, A.C.

Metro works in the Plaza de la Constitución | 1970

Parallel to the photographic record of the works of the Collective System Metro, between 1968 and 1986, ICA commissioned the painter Joaquín Martínez Navarrete (1920-1990) a series of watercolors capturing their construction.

Nueva Baslica de Gudalupe en construcción (1974) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Basílica de Guadalupe | 1974

The ICA company was invited to carry out the work to build the new Basilica of Guadalupe, a design led by architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Alejandro Schoenhofer, Gabriel Chávez de la Mora, and Javier García Lascuráin.

Tunel del Drenaje Profundo (1975) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Deep Drain | 1975

Although the first hydraulic works promoted by Porfirio Díaz would reveal the need for drainage and sewage systems in the city, the first General Canal project would detonate the first infrastructure projects that would culminate in the creation of the ambitious "Emisor Poniente" and "Oriente" tunnels.

Dovelas para los muros del Drenaje Profundo (1970) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Deep Drain | 1975

The relationship between civil engineering and water is as old as civilization itself. The Deep Drainage project emerged as a response to the constant flooding.

Torre Ejecutiva de PEMEX (1980) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Pemex Executive Tower | 1980

The architecture and engineering of the eighties and nineties would break the mold, building a city from new materials, a new kind of concrete brutalism and technology, both in government and urban developments.

Universidad Iberoamericana (1985) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Iberoamericana University | 1985

In 1979, the campus suffered damages by an earthquake, and in 1985 its new and current campus was built, located on land donated by the Federal District Government in the Santa Fe area. The project was carried out by the architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Rafael Mijares Alcérreca, and Francisco Serrano Cacho.

The ICA Man (20th Century) by Luis NishizawaFundación ICA, A.C.

The ICA Man | 1994

This work by Luis Nishisawa shows a series of bodies that not only transform their context through the infrastructure, but at the same time mimic it. In "El Hombre ICA", the company's building muscle stands out in representative infrastructure works and at the center there is a triangle where art and masonry converge, aided by machinery and technology.

Terminal 2 del Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (2006) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

Terminal 2 of the International Airport of Mexico City | 2006

The International Airport of Mexico City is the busiest terminal in Latin America. Terminal 2 was designed by Francisco Serrano and was inaugurated in 2006.

Tunel Emisor Oriente (TEO) (2008) by ICAFundación ICA, A.C.

East Emission Tunnel | 2019

The Emisor Oriente Tunnel (TEO) is the most important underground work in the Valley of Mexico, which extends over 62 km. The infrastructure ends at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Atotonilco and has 25 ports 150 meters deep and 7.5 meters in diameter.

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