Mexico embassy holds photo exhibition on contemporary Mexican architecture in Egypt at AUC

Reham El-Adawi , Amr Yehia , Wednesday 5 Jun 2024

The Embassy of Mexico in Egypt and the American University in Cairo (AUC) inaugurated on 4 June the thrilling exhibition "Shared Inheritances. LEGORRETA: Mexican Architecture in Egypt, Middle East, and Beyond".

Embassy of Mexico

 

The event was hosted at the Oriental Hall of AUC's Tahrir Square Campus.

Mexican Ambassador Leonora Rueda noted that the exhibition explores the fascinating connections between Mexico, Egypt, and the MENA region through the lens of architecture and diverse cultural expressions.

The exhibition was officially opened by Leonora Rueda, Ambassador of Mexico in Egypt, Ahmed Dallal, President of AUC, renowned Mexican architect Victor Legorreta, in the presence of Mexico embassy Cultural Attaché Eduardo Fragoso, and its deputy Head of Mission Hector Ortega, together with a galaxy of Egypt's high profile architects and professors of architecture at several universities in Egypt.


 

The exhibition features a chronological tour, in photography and video, of the most emblematic works of Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta from 1960, showcasing his legacy through the LEGORRETA architectural firm, which boasts a global presence in over 15 countries.

Mexican ambassador Rueda emphasized that "these shared inheritances are expressed not only in architecture but also in diverse cultural expressions such as design, gastronomy, and even our language, fostering mutual recognition and strengthening ties between Mexico and Egypt."

"Geographical parallels and a shared historical journey unite these regions, serving as cradles of ancient civilizations and contributing marvels to humanity's heritage in arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and time measurement," Victor Legorreta noted in his speech, highlighting the importance of these shared inheritances.

"In the MENA region, Islamic architecture evolved ingeniously, adapting to climate demands with features like thick walls, serene courtyards, lush gardens, and mesmerizing water features. This architectural tradition transcended borders, flourishing in Spain for eight centuries before voyaging to the new world and leaving its mark on what is now Mexico," Legorreta elaborated further on the connection.

He continued, "Four centuries later, LEGORRETA, a Mexican architectural firm, drew profound inspiration from its vibrant heritage in the face of modernism's rise. Embracing the hues of vernacular architecture, the grandeur of pre-Hispanic structures, and the allure of viceregal courtyards and porticos, LEGORRETA subtly infused echoes of Islamic mystique into its designs. With deep knowledge of local customs and traditions, LEGORRETA seamlessly integrates its architectural language into international projects, particularly in the MENA region."

"This integration, a testament to the enduring dialogue between two rich cultural legacies, reflects a profound ancestral connection and mutual respect between Mexico, the Middle East and North Africa," Legorreta added.  

He concluded his speech by saying, "Good architecture not only creates the conditions that enable human beings to develop their activities with comfort and efficiency, but it also satisfies their artistic needs, connects them with the natural environment, and helps them achieve happiness. Architecture is an essential expression of any culture."  

In 2008, LEGORRETA designed the Campus Center building and student dormitories at AUC.

In addition to their work in Egypt, LEGORRETA is developing the North Bay housing project in El Gouna on the shores of the Red Sea.

The exhibition is open to the public at AUC's Tahrir Square Campus until 27 June, from 10 am to 9 pm, excluding weekends and official holidays, in the Margo Veillon gallery and the Future gallery of the Oriental Hall.

Short link: