Biblioteca Vasconcelos

Coordinates: 19°26′50.79″N 99°9′3.1″W / 19.4474417°N 99.150861°W / 19.4474417; -99.150861
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
View of the interior of the library
Front of the library
Interior, photo taken during Wikimania 2015
Gabriel Orozco's Ballena (Whale)
Vasconcelos Library & Insignia Tower

Biblioteca Vasconcelos, also known as the Megabiblioteca by the press, is a library in the Buenavista neighborhood of Mexico City. It is dedicated to José Vasconcelos, the philosopher and former president of the National Library of Mexico. The library is spread across 38,000 square metres (409,000 sq ft),[1] and had an initial planned cost of 954 million pesos (roughly US$98 million).[2] The Congress of Mexico proposed plans to reduce the budget of 2006 that included cuts for all three branches of government., but the National Action Party (PAN) presented an alternate budget that preserved funds for Enciclomedia and the Vasconcelos Library.[3]

The library is located in Delegación Cuauhtémoc at the Buenavista train station where the Metro, suburban train, and Metrobús meet. It is adorned by several sculptures by Mexican artists, including Gabriel Orozco's Ballena (Whale), prominently located at the centre of the building.


Then President of Mexico Vicente Fox inaugurated the library on 16 May 2006, and stated that this was one of the most advanced constructions of the 21st century, and that it would be spoken of throughout the world.[4] This inauguration took place a week before the deadline the president had to promote his accomplishments before the 2006 presidential election.[5]

The library had to close in March 2007 due to construction defects.[6][7] The Superior Auditor of the Federation detected 36 construction irregularities and issued 13 motions of responsibility for public servants of the federal government.[6] Among the irregularities found was the misplacement of marble blocks at a cost of 15 million pesos (roughly 1.4 million dollars).[6]

During Calderón's administration, efforts to restore it continued with a further investment of 32 million pesos (roughly US$3 million).[8]

It was reopened to the public in November 2008 after 22 months.


The winning proposal for the library was designed by the Mexican architects Alberto Kalach and Juan Palomar. Lily Carr, writing in 2021 noted,"the structure’s cavernous, hollowed-out interior of an ossified matrix of suspended, expandable shelves presents the project as an awe-inspiring, chill-inducing spectacular that immerses the first-time visitor in the architects’ vision of a library as a container, or ‘ark, a carrier of human knowledge." [9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "El Universal, el periódico de México líder en noticias y clasificados". Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  2. ^ "En orden los recursos de Biblioteca Vasconcelos: CAPFCE". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  3. ^ "Matutina". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  4. ^ "El Universal - - Inaugura Fox megabiblioteca "Jos Vasconcelos"". 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  5. ^ "RED IBEROAMERICANA DE UNIVERSIDADES - Extensión - Más Relacionados Cultura - la Biblioteca Vasconcelos". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  6. ^ a b c La Jornada. "La ASF pide fincar responsabilidad a funcionarios de Vicente Fox". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Kalach's Mexico City Library Shuttered". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  8. ^ "El Universal - - 32 mdp m s a la ´megabiblioteca´". 27 June 2013. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  9. ^ Carr, Lily 2018. "Revisit: Biblioteca Vasconcelos Architectural Review. (January 7, 2021).

External links[edit]

19°26′50.79″N 99°9′3.1″W / 19.4474417°N 99.150861°W / 19.4474417; -99.150861