Museo Tamayo is located within the first section of Chapultepec Park. Rufino Tamayo was always very interested in placing his art collection in this area, which is so important to the quality of life in Mexico City.
The government of Mexico City authorized the donation of the land where the Azteca Golf Course was previously located . It was then that the artist called Mexican architects Teodoro González de León and Abraham Zabludovsky to design the building that would become another piece of the collection.
Both architects went through an intensive research that included, among other things, visiting a large number of museums around the world. The design began in 1972, while the construction started until 1979 and ended two years later, in 1981. The result: a building that integrates well the particularities of its design and functional solutions, made worthy to Zabludovsky and González de León the National Award of Science and Art, in the "Fine Arts" in 1982.
Regarded as one of the few examples of contemporary architecture in Mexico originally aimed to museum work, the building is incorporated harmoniously into the environment due to its pyramidal shape, which refers to the pre-Hispanic architectural heritage.
The building is not a body that invades the park, but integrates the surrounding terrain under its multilevel structure focused on staggered concrete volumes towards the center. By being disguised, it gives the feeling that the building springs from the ground. To achieve this integration, the architects incorporated vegetated slopes. They are an essential part of the composition of the building and set the primary relationship with the Chapultepec Park, creating the impression that the museum emerges from the ground.
Reinforced concrete with white marble stones together with glass and wood for the floors was mainly used in the construction of the building. Special attention was paid to the design of interior spaces, illuminated by natural and artificial light, creating different atmospheres that enhance the visitor's relationship with the works of art.
After more than 30 years alive, the Museo Tamayo closed its doors for a year (August, 2011 - August, 2012) for its architectural remodeling and expansion. Fortunately for the museum, the architect González de León, one of the original authors of the building together with Abraham Zabludovsky, was the one who created and implemented the intervention of the building, allowing him to retake one of his most precious works and study it in detail.
The Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo reopened its doors on Sunday, August 26 with new and remodeled spaces and offer more exhibitions, facilities and activities. All of this aimed at generating, in children, youth and adults, a transformative experience around contemporary art.
With the extension, the museum grew 30% retaining its emblematic shape and aesthetics. In words of González de León: “the same forms were prolonged, like the growth of a plant, new branches came out to the building with the same plastic spirit on the outside.”