AHEAD OF THE REST

Mexico 2015 | CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to José Manuel Gómez Vázquez Aldana, Chairman of Gomez Vazquez International GVI and GVA Arquitectos, on the evolution of architecture in Mexico, exiting new projects, and going global.

José Manuel Gómez Vázquez Aldana
BIOGRAPHY
José Manuel Gómez Vázquez Aldana has a degree in Architecture from the University of Guadalajara. He is the founding director of the Human Settlement Institute at the University of Guadalajara. He was an Eisenhower Fellow, and is an honorary citizen with the keys to Miami, New Orleans, Houston & Washington. He is also the Honorary Consul of Poland. He has a medal of honor for entrepreneurial merit in Jalisco, and received an award for Professional Trajectory from President Vicente Fox. He is the Founder and President of GVA, the Founder Chairman of Gomez Vazquez International GVI, a Board Member of Nafinsa, and Chairman Founder of GVA Developments.

How did your early years in the US influence your work here?

I not only saw the cities and urban development there, but was also given the title of honorary citizen in Miami, Washington, New Orleans, and Houston, where they gave me the keys to the city. I then established one of the first architectural firms in Mexico. Those years that I spent in the US were, therefore, crucial in my life development (also my brothers & my family) as an architect & developer.

What have you and Grupo GVI meant for the Mexican architecture sector?

We have been one of the leaders of the industry, classified 62 in the world and within the top five in hospitality, as well as the No. 1 in Latin America. We also evolved, creating Gomez-Vazquez International GVI to meet the globalization needs of the architecture field. This venture has proven highly successful and we continue to operate it.

What are the key architectural attributes of your projects?

Creativity, innovation, and personal attention to the client & detail are at the heart of what we do. One needs to grasp the mentality of the region or location of the project, because architecture is, in my view, “harmony of constructive elements producing beauty, delimiting spaces where the spirit reigns." There are constructions that while undoubtedly beautiful, fail to satisfy client needs. This is why we need to satisfy the spirit of the user. Today, we have offices in Guadalajara, Mexico DF, San Antonio Texas, and Panama. We also work in Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, San Antonio, and Clearwater Florida in the US.

Among all the projects that you are involved today, which do you feel the most excited by?

We are undertaking the “El Santuario de los Martires" in Guadalajara; a project designed for 16,000 people and 40,000 in the Atrium, and one that will be unique for the continent. We also have a project called “The Palace of Arts and Communications," which is also in Guadalajara. This project innovated sample has been made possible thanks to Jose Perez Ramirez, and another great project is “The Global City" next to the Panama Airport in 2800 Ac.

To what degree has Mexico City become a showcase for international architects in recent years?

Mexico City is as important as other major global cities. And in step with globalization, many important architect firms have come to Mexico. Our firms are specialists in hospitality, touristic developments, malls with mixed-use projects, and also in urban and regional planning. Mexico is lacking still sometimes in urban & regional planning, but it also provides some innovative examples.

What opportunities do you identify for international investors in the construction sector?

There are many opportunities thanks to improvements in communications. In the tourism sector, Mexico boasts an astonishing range of natural attractions. We have completed a regional master plan for the coast of Jalisco, and the airport is about to be finished.