Fernando Romero

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Fernando Romero
Arq. Fernando Romero.JPG
Born (1971-10-11) October 11, 1971 (age 44)
Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality Mexican
Occupation Architect
Buildings Soumaya Museum, 2012 G-20 Los Cabos summit, Plaza Mariana
Projects FREE City, new Mexico City International Airport

Fernando Romero (born 11 October 1971) is a Mexican architect, urban designer, educator, author and philanthropist. In 2011, his company fr·ee fernando romero enterprise received international recognition for the design of the new Mexico City International Airport. He is the son-in-law of the Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim.[1]


Fernando Romero is the great grandson of Mexican developer Alejandro Romero Lesbros, who was a pioneer in the development of several boroughs and recreation districts in Mexico City throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. His grandfather Raúl Romero Erazo and father Raúl Romero Zenizo continued the family business. He studied architecture at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City from 1991 until 1995, serving as a President of the Alumni Society.[2] In 2012, Fernando Romero lectured as a Visiting Professor at Columbia University in New York City. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and CAMSAM (Mexican Chamber of Architects).

Early career[edit]

In 1995, following graduation, Fernando Romero joined the office of Rem Koolhaas, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 1999, Fernando Romero served as the Project Leader who won the entry for Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal. Located on a Unesco Heritage Site, the iconic building has become recognized as a distinct international performing arts venue and a landmark for the city of Porto.[2] After its inauguration in 2005, The New York Times described the building as "one of the most important concert halls built in the last 100 years".[3]

Founding fr·ee[edit]

Fernando Romero founded fr·ee in Mexico City in 2000. The work of fr·ee is strongly rooted in research and studies of project context/site, rather than subscribing to an explicit ideology and signature style. fr·ee's projects embrace diversity and the idea that design should find sustainable solutions which ensure economic viability and social/environmental integrity. fr·ee's work is extensive and comprises a variety of scales, programs and morphologies located all over the world.[4]

Over the past decade, the accolades of Fernando Romero and fr·ee have included: Honorary Fellowship by American Institute of Architects; Americas Property Award (2012); 50 Creative Pioneers in (2012) by Fast Company; Movers and Shakers (of 2011) by Fast Company; 50 personalities of Mexico (2011); Young Architects Award, Mexican Society of Architects (2009); Red Dot Award: Best of the Best (2006).

Fernando Romero has lectured and presented the work of fr·ee in all hemispheres.

In 2010, fr·ee formed a separate office in New York City to serve a growing number of cultural, religious, and commercial projects across the United States.


All along in his career, Fernando Romero has been awarded with numerous international and national distinctions, such as:

  1. 2010 year's architect by Fashion Group.
  2. 2009 young architecture by the Mexican Architecture Society.
  3. 2005 Bauhaus award by Villa S. March.
  4. Architecture Pamphlet award for "Translations" (Fernando Romero's book).
  5. 2005 SARA's award by the American architecture society.
  6. 2004 Bauhaus international award in Germany.[5]
  7. 2002 Global leader of tomorrow by World Economic Forum.

Projects / Architectural concept[edit]

Romero seeks to capture in his works a contemporary concept through the use of art materials and technology, supported by research from other fields and disciplines. It is commonly referred to by the futuristic and minimalist aesthetic that employs in his works. Moreover, he seeks to integrate sustainable and green walls in their projects.[2]

G-20 Convention Center[edit]

The Convention Center, located in Los Cabos, Mexico, was designed by fr·ee to host the 2012 G-20 Los Cabos summit. It has a capacity of 6,500 people and an area of 5,400 square meters. It is set for conferences, exhibitions, festivals and other events and was built in less than seven months. One of the outstanding features is the green wall found in its structure, which is the largest in the world with an area of 2,700 square meters.[6]


  1. Eco Museum, Mexico City (2006-2007), described by Fernanda Canales in her book "Mexican architecture: 1900-2010" as a project that allows an association between the architecture with the general culture.
  2. General Offices Inbursa, Mexico City (2001-2003).[7]
  3. Cervantes Tower: residential complex, Mexico City (2009-2010)
  4. Teahouse, Jinhua, China (2004-2006), considered a project that placed Mexican architecture within the architectural platform that seemed unattainable to Mexico a few years ago.[8] The masterplan was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, and the initiative goes back to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Soumaya Museum[edit]

The Soumaya Museum, located in Nuevo Polanco in Mexico City, was designed under the direction of Fernando Romero in 2010. The museum has an area of 22,000 square meters and exhibits about 70,000 objects from different collections from the 15th century until the 20th century. The exterior facade is composed of sixteen thousand hexagonal tiles, which generate a different effect depending on the angle at which you are standing. The internal structure is composed of a ramp with 6 floors, each one with a specific theme.[9] It has become an icon for Mexican contemporary architecture and a must for locals and tourists. In October 2015, the number of visitors reached 5 millions,[10] and so, the Soumaya Museum is the most visited private museum in the world.

New Mexico City international airport (NAICM)[edit]


The new airport in Mexico City was designed in collaboration between fr·ee and Foster + Partners; and promises to be one of the largest airports in the world and the largest in the Americas, with an area of 555,000 square meters. Arup is the engineer on the project and performed original masterplan. The terminal will use very little power, and so it will become the most sustainable airport in the world. It will have short spaces throughout the halls; therefore, no internal trains or subway tunnels will be used. It will have six lanes, and will be able to mobilize up to 120 million passengers per year. It is estimated that the project will require an investment of about 9,150 million dollars and is considered to be the most important work of the administration of the president Enrique Peña Nieto.[11]


Fernando Romero and fr·ee are involved in a wide range of educational and cultural activities. Regeneration, a project restoring selected pieces of modern Mexican architecture, preserves culture and creates awareness about the role of architecture and design in Mexico; Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, located in Mexico City, situates a private collection and experimental exhibition space for industrial design objects; and "fr·ee time" is a year-long fellowship bestowed upon a Mexican architect under the age of 35, providing an opportunity to travel and research a specific topic in depth.

Built projects and commissions[edit]

  • Austin Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin Texas, 2012
  • Miami Cathedral, Miami Florida, 2012 [www.dezeen.com/2012/11/02/miami-chapel-by-free]
  • G-20 Summit Convention Center 57,977m², Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 2012
  • Jumex Apartments 24,178m², Mexico City, 2012
  • Plaza Mariana (67,941m²), La Villa Mexico City, 2010-2011
  • Polanco Hotel (24,178 m²), Mexico City, 2012
  • Soccer Villa (622.08m²), Salazar, Mexico, 2010
  • Museo Soumaya [www.soumaya.com.mx] (16,000 m²), Mexico City, Mexico, 2005–10
  • ModuLAR, Mexico City, Mexico, 2009
  • Polanco Masterplan (500,000 m²) 725 apartments (89,742 m²), Mexico City
  • Zurich Building (105 apartments, 13,700 m²)
  • Cervantes Complex (167 apartments, 24,200 m²), Mexico City, Mexico, 2008–10
  • Expansion of the El Eco Experimental Museum by Mathias Goeritz, Mexico City, Mexico, 2006–07
  • Carso Corporate Office Building (75,000 m²), Mexico City, Mexico, 2006–07
  • 150 Apartments in Irrigación District, Mexico City, Mexico, 2006–07
  • Air Terminal, Toluca, Mexico, 2006
  • Chapultepec Park Masterplan (2,207 hectares), Mexico City, Mexico, 2006
  • Two Houses, Silves, Portugal, 2005–08
  • Mixed-use Building: Palmas 781 (Offices and commercial area, 21,000 m²), Mexico City, Mexico, 2005–07
  • Border Museum, Matamoros, Mexico, 2005–06
  • Convention Center, Tabasco, Mexico, 2005–06
  • Hotel on Reforma Avenue, Mexico City, Mexico, 2005–06
  • Apartments in Alameda Plaza Juárez, Mexico City, Mexico, 2005
  • Housing at the Historic Center, Mexico City, Mexico, 2004–09
  • Bridging Teahouse, Jinhua City, China, 2004–06
  • Public Artwork, Kanazawa, Japan, 2004
  • School and Commercial Center, Veracruz, Mexico, 2004
  • New Americans Museum, San Diego, USA, 2003–09
  • Lomas Studio, Mexico City, Mexico, 2003
  • Villa S, Mexico City, Mexico, 2005
  • Office Building in Montes Urales, Mexico City, Mexico, 2002–05
  • Santa Fe Apartment Building (34 floors), Mexico City, Mexico, 2002–05
  • Retirement Residence/Lebanese Club, Mexico City, Mexico, 2002–03
  • Inbursa Bank Corporate Office Building in Palmas, Mexico City, Mexico, 2001–03
  • Cinna Bar, Mexico City, Mexico, 2001
  • Inbursa Bank Branch (Reforma Avenue), Mexico City, Mexico, 2000–01
  • House on Beach, Guerrero, Mexico, 2000–01
  • Dolores Masterplan, La Paz, Mexico, 2000
  • Children’s Room, Mexico City, Mexico, 2000–01
  • Semi-Sunken House, Mexico City, Mexico, 1997–99
  • School in Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico, 2003

Competitions and projects[edit]

  • Jobsphere, Woodside California, USA, 2012
  • Austin Museum Mexic-Arte, Austin, USA, 2012
  • School of Justice, Mexico City, Mexico, 2011
  • S Tower, Mexico City, Mexico, 2011
  • Master Plan Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, 2011
  • Tulum Museum, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 2011
  • MAP, Latinamerica, 2011
  • Hotel Brasil, Brazil, 2011
  • Tequila Centenario Pavilion, Mexico City, Mexico, 2011
  • Mirador Brasil, Brazil, 2011
  • MADU, Mexico City, Mexico, 2010
  • Toluca Stadium, Toluca Estado de México, Mexico, 2010
  • Torre Bicentenario (70 floors), Mexico City, Mexico, 2007–10
  • Maribor Pedestrian Bridge International Competition, 2010
  • Lisbon Cruise Terminal (Competition), Lisbon, Portugal, 2010
  • Mercedes-Benz Business Center (Competition), Yerevan, Armenia, 2010
  • Bicentennial Moebius Ring (Competition by invitation, third prize), Mexico City, Mexico, 2009
  • House of Arts and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon, 2008–09
  • Santander Headquarters (Competition by invitation), Monterrey, Mexico, 2008–09
  • Mexican Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo 2010, Shanghai, China, 2009
  • Oslo Public Library (Competition by invitation), Oslo, Norway, 2008–09
  • Biodiversity and Culture Pavilion (Competition by invitation), Los Cabos, Mexico, 2008
  • Plaza Bicentenario, Mexico City, Mexico, 2007
  • Banco del Bajío Headquarters (Competition, first prize), Monterrey, Mexico, 2007–08
  • Museum of Contemporary Art & Exhibition Planning (MOCAPE), Shenzhen, China, 2007
  • Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland, 2006–07
  • Expansion of the El Eco Experimental Museum (Competition by invitation, first prize), Mexico City, Mexico, 2006
  • Seoul Performing Arts Center (Competition), Seoul, South Korea, 2005
  • Tsunami Memorial Design (Competition), Khao-lak, Thailand, 2005
  • Beijing Hyperbolic Landmark (Competition), Beijing, China, 2005
  • Tittot Glass Museum (Shortlisted), Taipei, Taiwan, 2004
  • Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, Augusta, USA, 2004
  • “400,000 Homes” (Quaderns Competition), Barcelona, Spain, 2004
  • International Architecture Competition, Machu Picchu, Peru, 2004
  • Spain Cultural Center, Mexico City, Mexico, 2004
  • Auditorio Jalisco (Competition by invitation, first prize), Guadalajara, Mexico, 2003–08
  • El Paso Holocaust Museum (Competition by invitation, first prize), El Paso, USA, 2003–07
  • Palisades Glacier Mountain Hut (Competition), Berkeley, USA, 2003
  • Design Beyond East and West (Competition), Seoul, South Korea, 2003
  • School in Tlalpan (Competition by invitation, first prize), Mexico City, Mexico, 2003
  • Nam June Paik Museum, Yong-in, Korea, 2003
  • Office Building in Montes Urales (Competition by invitation, first prize), Mexico City, Mexico, 2002–05
  • Retirement Residence/Lebanese Club (Competition by invitation, first prize), Mexico City, Mexico, 2002–03
  • Cultural and Office Complex, Montreal, Canada, 2002
  • Reforma 222 (Competition by invitation, second prize), Mexico City, Mexico, 2001
  • 200 Japan Housing, Aomori, Japan, 2001
  • Chapel in Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico, 2000
  • Suro House, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2000
  • Office Building with 53 Floors, Mexico City, Mexico, 2000
  • Orozco House, Tepoztlán, Mexico, 1999
  • Museum for Contemporary Art, Mexico City, Mexico, 1999


  • fr·ee at Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico, 2013
  • 12-12-12, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA, 2012
  • Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA, 2009
  • Alameda Museum, San Antonio, USA, 2008
  • Hyperborder, Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Shenzhen, China, 2007
  • Escultura Social, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA, 2007
  • Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon, Portugal, 2007
  • Architectural Biennial Beijing, Beijing, China, 2006
  • London Architecture Biennale, London, UK, 2006
  • Generación DF, Met.room, Barcelona, Spain, 2005
  • Competition Exhibition, Seoul Performing Arts Center, Seoul, South Korea, 2005
  • RAS Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, 2005
  • 50 Years: 50 Architects, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico, 2005
  • deSingel International Kunstcampus, Antwerp, Belgium, 2005
  • Lorca, Official School of Architecture, Granada, Spain, 2005
  • Encounters in the 21st Century, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2005
  • Iberoamerican Biennale, Lima, Peru, 2004
  • Panorama Emergente Iberoamericano Lima, Peru, 2004
  • Hot Spot Mexico, Architectural Biennial Beijing, Beijing, China, 2004
  • If . . . Then, Young Architects Forum, Architectural League of New York, New York City, USA, 2004
  • Havana Biennial of Architecture, Havana, Cuba, 2004
  • GA Houses Project 2004, GA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2004
  • Biennale Miami+Beach, Miami, USA, 2003
  • Utopia Station, La Biennale di Venezia, 2003
  • International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2003
  • La Biennale di Venezia Architecture Exhibition, Venice, Italy, 2002
  • Egofugal, Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey, 2001
  • Archilab, Orleans, France, 2001
  • Interpretations, Aedes Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2001
  • Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico, 2000
  • Less Aesthetics More Ethics, La Biennale di Venezia Architecture Exhibition, Venice, Italy, 2000
  • Researching Cities, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York City, USA, 2000
  • La Ville, le Jardin et la Memoire, Villa Medici, Rome, Italy, 1998–2000


  • “Being Constructive”, Time (January 2008).
  • “Hyperborder: The Contemporary US-Mexico Border and Its Future”, Arquine 44 (2008).
  • “For Me, Architecture Is a Tool to Translate Society”, ArchIdea 37 (May 2008).
  • “México Orgánico”, PolOxygen 24 (2008).
  • “Border Crossings”, Metropolis (December 2007).
  • “Musea in 3D”, Abstract (September 2007).
  • “El heredero mexicano de Rem Koolhaas”, Diario El Clarín (October 2007).
  • “Teahouse”, Pasajes de Arquitectura GML607 (2007).
  • “Warped Views”, Surface Magazine 67 (September 2007).
  • “Atávico y Global”, Architectural Digest Spain 16 (July/August 2007).
  • “Translating Tradition”, Domus 899 (January 2007).
  • “Jinhua Architecture Park”, Domus 894 (July/August 2006).
  • “Fernando Romero”, Mais Arquitectura 03 (June 2006).
  • “Anexo al Museo Experimental El Eco”, El Arqa MX 51 (2006).
  • “Skulpture, Beseelt”, Baumeister 11 (2006).
  • “Fernando Romero, Architecte”, L’Optimum 83 (March 2006).
  • “Bridges”, B-guided 29 (2006).
  • Federica Zanco, “Anexo D (padiglione dei bambini)”, Casabella 725 (September 2004).
  • “Pavillon des Enfants, San Angel, Mexico”, L’architecture d’aujourd’hui 353 (July/August 2004).
  • “Marine Curves”, Architectural Review 1277 (July 2003).
  • “LCM/Fernando Romero, Projects”, Zoo 9 (2000).
  • “Venice Biennale Featuring LCM”, Zoo 7 (2000).


Books by Fernando Romero:[12]

  • FR-EE, Mapas (Mexico City, 2013)[12]
  • You Are The Context (New York, 2012)
  • Simplexity, Hatje Cantz (Germany, 2010)
  • Hyperborder; Princeton Architectural Press (New York, 2007): A research into one of the most active borders in the world: Mexico-USA
  • The Air Is Blue (Mexico City, 2007): In homage to Luis Barragán, an exposition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Pedro Reyes (Artist), with 30 contemporary artists
  • Translation, ACTAR Editorial (Barcelona, 2005)
  • ZMVM (Mexico City, 2000): An analysis of Mexico City’s urban transformation


  1. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2011/04/15/the-worlds-richest-mans-favorite-architect/
  2. ^ a b c "LAR/ Fernando Romero". ArchiTravel. (s.f). Retrieved November 12, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Rem Koolhaas Learns Not to Overthink It". New York Times. April 10, 2005. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "(FREE) FERNANDO ROMERO". Architectureexposed. (s.f). Retrieved November 12, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "LAR/ Fernando Romero". ArchiTravel. noviembre (s.f). Retrieved November 12, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Los Cabos International Convention Center / FR-EE / Fernando Romero Enterprise= ArchDaily". March 17, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Fernando Romero FR-EE". Archibel. (s.f). Retrieved November 12, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Arquitectura en México 1900-2010". Arquine. 2013. 
  9. ^ "Museo Soumaya / fr·ee / fernando romero enterprise". Archdaily. November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Museo Soumaya llega a 5 millones de visitantes". Fundación Carlos Slim. October 27, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Foster + Partners and fr·ee collaboration to design new Mexico City International Airport". Bustler. September 4, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "LAR / Fernando Romero Simplexity". Hatje Cantz. (s.f). Retrieved November 12, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

 Newfoundland Categoría:Arquitectos de México del siglo XX Categoría:Arquitectos de México del siglo XXI Categoría:Urbanistas de México

External links[edit]