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Living Architecture

The Aristos Complex is an avant-garde architectural work by José Luis Benlliure, which combines habitable art and integration into the surrounding environment.

Good architecture transcends in time and sets a style. Important structures become icons of the city. Contemporary Mexican architecture had a great boom in the 1960s and 1970s, when people talked about modernism and realized a golden age with architects such as Max Cetto, Félix Candela, Enrique Del Moral, Augusto H. Álvarez, Mario Pani, Abraham Zabludowsky, Vladimir Kaspé, Juan O'Gorman and José Luis Benlliure himself, who was the creator of an emblematic complex in the heart of the city: the famous Aristos building in the Hipódromo Condesa neighborhood.

The Aristos Complex is considered a masterpiece of architecture

Due to its structure, created from a network of equilateral triangles, which gave the building great rigidity and beauty, it also stands out for its modern lines that were important at that time. The building officially opened in 1961 and stood out not only for its proportions, but also for the idea of ​​connecting architecture with the urban environment, trying to connect the streets of Insurgentes and Aguascalientes to the central patio, carefully designed as a public square that granted the city with ​​fountains, corridors and water mirrors.

The project contains three volumes, Insurgentes with 18 levels, Aguascalientes with 9 and the adjoining of 4, all integrated by the basement that, raised from street level and with a curved profile in the outer corner and inner limits of the courtyard, refer to the Schocken department store in Stuttgart, the work of the architect Erich Mendelsohn. The patio has an elongated configuration and organic corridors with a fountain that remind us of the famous Brazilian landscape architect Burle Marx. The plastic integration of the building, present in the courtyard fountain and the finials on the roof, is most evident in the bas relief on the Insurgentes facade on the Oaxacan white quarry cornice, which covers the entire building.

This architectural structure has been classified as a heritage of Mexico City and a masterpiece of Mexican architecture.

The remodeling project was in charge of AoMa office, Aoki-Martens Estudio S.C, a firm that has been recognized for creating comprehensive architecture, urban planning, interior and furniture projects. For the redesign, the differentiating and unique characteristics and attributes proposed by the architect José Luis Benlliure were respected, which have to do with a powerful architecture and at the same time that it opens up to the city; such as the splendid mosaic of geometric lines by Benlliure himself or the representation of the Panathenaic procession (religious, cultural and sports festivals in Athens that took place every year, in honor of its goddess), which as pieces of art, they are located at ground level at the entrance of Aguascalientes street and invite viewers to delve into an architecture full of surprises and art. The central idea of ​​the remodeling work has been to condition the spaces to open them up to the city, so that they can be lived and appreciated from the outside, which has been achieved thanks to the transparency embodied through the glass doors of the motor lobby, allowing a view into the Central Patio from Aguascalientes street.


The interior spaces contain wonderful pieces of art such as the chrome-plated bronze sculpture by the artist Jan Hendrix, titled Fuga, circa 2005 measuring 120 x 300 x 120 cm, or the 4-meter-high reproduction of the Giganta, an original work by José Luis Cuevas located in Guanajuato and measuring 8 meters high.


Undoubtedly, the rescue of this masterpiece of architecture and the hospitality services of Mondrian Mexico City Condesa and Andaz Mexico City Condesa are a perfect synergy that will keep the legacy of this renowned architect alive. Of course, this story will continue when this space becomes the new living district of the Roma-Condesa corridor.

Lounge Bar Patio 01.jpeg

The architect

José Luis Benlliure Galán.

Madrid, March 16, 1928 – Mexico City, September 1994

José Luis Benlliure Galan carried out more than 300 projects and 150 constructions for almost half a century. A tireless worker, an integral artist - he was an urban planner, restorer, architect, painter, sculptor, stained glass artist, designer - he undertook any project, however small or large, with the same passion.

Son of Jose Luis Mariano Benlliure Lopez de Arana and Soledad Galan, and grandson of the sculptor Mariano Benlliure, he was born in Madrid on March 16, 1928. Very soon he showed an extraordinary passion and ease for the arts: he already drew at the age of twenty months, fascinating his sculptor grandfather and his architect father. In Mexico, he began the career of Architecture. In 1948 he returned to Madrid with his family, continued his training in Rome, and in 1950 returned to Mexico alone, unable to revalidate his studies. He graduated with the Minor Seminary for Mexico City in 1954 (project based on the Escorial Monastery), a project that integrated other plastic arts as part of the architecture.

His top work is El Conjunto Aristos (1957-1961); considered one of the best buildings in Mexico, in which plastic integration is taken to the highest level. For this project, José Luis Benlliure opened the mosaic mural of the Panatheneas and the sculptural reliefs on two of the facades, which he personally modeled and carved, showing his mastery of sculptural techniques. He validated his degree in Madrid (ETSAM, 1965). He continually traveled to Spain, where he workes alone and with other architects, including his father (his teacher, adviser, and consultant) with whom he maintained a correspondence of almost a thousand letters that showed the collaboration and mutual influence in his professional work.

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