Ramírez Vázquez, Pedro (1919–2013) By Santoyo-Orozco, Ivonne
Pedro Ramírez Vázquez is arguably the father of Mexican modern architecture. He studied at the School of Architecture of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and graduated by presenting the first thesis on urbanism in Mexico (1943). He had a prolific and influential career in his hometown, Mexico City, where some of his buildings have become landmarks of the capital, such as National Museum of Anthropology (1964), the Aztec Stadium (1966), the New Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (1975), the Chamber of Deputies San Lazaro Legislative Palace (1980), among others. In addition to a prestigious architecture career, he also left a mark in other disciplines such as industrial design, graphic design, politics, and academia. Departing from architecture, he created a series of sculptures and some pieces of furniture. He also contributed to the graphic design of the Olympic image of 1968. As a statesman, he served as the President of the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games of 1968. As a politician, he was given the office of the Secretary of Human Settlements and Public Works from 1976 to 1982 and other posts within the Secretary of Education. As an academic, he taught composition and urban planning at the National School of Architecture, and he was a founder and first Rector of the Metropolitan Autonomous University. Through all these endeavours, Ramírez Vázquez insisted that ‘design is not a work of art, it is a service’.