Mario Pani, Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán, Mexico City, Mexico, 1947-1949. © Guillermo Zamora, Archive Louise Noelle.
President Alemán Urban Housing Project





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing, Post-war housing, Welfare architecture, Mass housing, Mexican modern architecture, President Alemán Urban Housing Project, Mario Pani, José Clemente Orozco


The Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán, inaugurated in 1949, was a pioneer in more ways than one and can be considered as one of the most transcendent works of Mario Pani. It is the first Mexican high-rise housing complex, where many of the ideals of the European masters, especially Le Corbusier, are gathered together but with a design suited to its place and time. Mario Pani shattered the scheme of the single unit dwelling and proposed a density that allowed the presence of garden areas and integrated diverse services. Moreover, he invited the artist José Clemente Orozco to paint a mural, which he commenced on an undulating wall designed by him.

How to Cite

Noelle, L. (2021). President Alemán Urban Housing Project. Docomomo Journal, (65), 16–21.




Author Biography

Louise Noelle, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Professor and researcher of 20th century architecture at the National University of Mexico. Author of various books on Mexican and Latin American architecture and contributor to numerous journals. Jean Tschumi Prize of the International Union of Architects in 2011. In the field of architectural heritage, Louise Noelle is president of docomomo Mexico and member of the Advisory Board of docomomo International.


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KOCHEN, Juan José (ed.), El primer multifamiliar Moderno: Centro Urbano Presidente Alemán, Mexico, Fundación ICA, Fundación Miguel Alemán, 2017.

NOELLE, Louise, “La integración plástica: confluencia, superposición o nostalgia”, in Lucero Enriquez (ed.), (In)Disciplinas: Estética e historia del arte en el cruce de los discursos, Mexico, UNAM, 1999, 537-551.

NOELLE, Louise (comp.), Mario Pani, Mexico, UNAM, 2008.

NOELLE, Louise, “Clara Porset, a Modern Designer for Mexico”, docomomo Journal 46 – “Designing Modern Life”, Barcelona, docomomo International, 2012, 54-59.

PANI, Mario, Los multifamiliares de Pensiones, Mexico, Editorial Arquitectura, 1953.

PORSET, Clara, “El Centro Urbano `Miguel Alemán ́ y el espacio interior para vivir”, Arquitectura/México, No. 32, Mexico, Editorial Arquitectura, October 1950, 117-120.