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El Péndulo Library / Aizenman-Arquitectura

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Text description provided by the architects. The San Angel Branch of the Péndulo Bookstore Chain was commissioned by the Instituto Cultural Helenico, to complement it’s cultural complex of theatres and humanities school, and to create a cultural hub in the southern part of Mexico City. The project emerges from a pre-existing raised “plaza” in the front of the site and works around a large ash tree and an imposing palm. The building borrows from the theatre the concept of “stages” or platforms at different levels, where from you can see and be seen, all within a large “hangar” like space.Multiple activities coexist in these “stages”: bookstore/design store, restaurant and lounge bar, all surrounded by two levels of books, and unified bellow a wooden pergola.








A light steel structural system which include the bookshelves themselves as anti-simic diaphragms, together with a sensitive use of materials allowed for an open yet intimate feeling of the space. The discreet facade, covered with ondulated alluminum, wood planks and large windows, are perfectly integrated between the existing theatre structure by reknowned architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez and the neighbouring headquartes of the Federal Judiciary Building by Ricardo Legorreta, from which it borrows some of its color palette. The project was recently awarded best building of the year at Expo Cihac Premio Escala Competition.







Different materials and lighting bring warmth and individuality to each level and activity. Circulation patterns offer variety of experiences to move around and inhabit the space. The interior is arranged around two axis, one from a busy avenue to a quiet garden in the back, and the other from the theatre vestibule to a huge wall of books. The palm tree, housed in a chimney like louvered enclosure, serves as the commanding fulcrum for the entire composition.








  • Architects: Aizenman-Arquitectura
  • Area: 978.0 m2
  • Photographs: Eduardo AizenmanJaime Navarro

  • Manufacturers: Hunter Douglas Brasil, Valchromat, Bakan, Ypasa, ESTEVEZ, Pisos Creativos, Global Woods




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