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Antonio Castro Leal Library

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Antonio Castro Leal Library

Project Status


Year Completed



528 sq. meters


  • General Contractor: CAV Diseño e Ingeniería
  • Lighting Designer: Luz en Arquitectura, S.C.
  • Sitios y Monumentos del Patrimonio Cultural del CONACULTA
  • Structural Engineer: Izquierdo Ingenieros Asociados, S.C.
  • : Diseños Integrales de Ingeniería, S.A. de C.V.
  • Varela + Kimura
  • Ramón Álvarez
  • Erik Barrón





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Project Description


The library is located in two bays at the north side of the north-west patio at La Ciudadela. It was created to house Antonio Castro Leal’s personal library, and was envisioned as a transparent area in which the bookcases are attached on the walls to full height. These vertical elements in dark wood make the contrast with horizontal planes (floors) in light wood and translucent glass, as well as the white furniture. Despite the open space, one can distinguish four different areas: the reception, the teamwork area, personal reading area and the research area.

The modular solution for each component responds to the placement of structural metal beams on the Catalan ceiling of the original building and the hallways are suspended from these elements by light and thin stainless steel rounds. The railings are continuous and articulated in the changes of direction and ends. Each bookcase panel has on its edge a continuous band of LEDs that illuminates each book and they seem as vibrate in space. The simple and modular bookcases complemented with especial details of ironwork railings and the tables and chairs designed specifically for this space. An integral solution from industrial design to architecture took as reference the Castro Leal's personal library at his home at Coyoacan. The result is an easily visual comprehension and homely to visitors.

- All stainless steel structure was customized
- Restored historic windows
- Security arch by 3M
- Working tables, low tables and armchairs by BGP Arquitectura
- Eames chairs by Vitra
- Tolomeo lamps by Artemide
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