Pani Darqui, Mario (1911–1993) By Santoyo-Orozco, Ivonne
Mexican architect Mario Pani spent his formative years between Belgium, Italy, and France due to his father’s diplomatic posts. After graduating from the Écoles des Beaux-Arts (1934), he returned to Mexico just prior a period of massive urban transformation in Mexico City. During his first decades in Mexico, Pani worked intensively to establish his career, quickly winning his first commissions, perhaps the most important of which was the Hotel Reforma (1936), which Pani controversially took over from Carlos Obregón Santalicia. Indeed, his early career in Mexico saw him actively participating in many competitions against the most renowned architects of his time. In 1938 he founded the magazine Arquitectura/México (1938–1979) not only to disseminate contemporary architecture in Mexico but also to republish material from international magazines.
Over the course of his career, Pani designed a huge variety of projects. These included educational buildings, such as the National Conservatory of Music (1946), the National School of Teachers (1947), and his famous Rectory Building in Mexico City (1952); touristic complexes such as the Acapulco Yacht Club (1955); administrative centres like Condominio Acero in Monterrey (1959); and urban plans such as the Medical Center Masterplan (with Jose Villagran Garcia, 1942), the University Campus of the National Autonomous University (with Enrique del Moral, 1952), among many others. However, Mario Pani is more commonly remembered for his housing projects.