Guadalajara has always been known as a creative paradise, great minds from the Mexican scene have been the fruit of this land, Luis Barragán and José Clemente Orozco among them. Through a space dedicated to literature, Grupo Arca joins this setting through a library that is also a tool for the architectural scene and pretends to inspire future representatives of the seven arts.
At plain sight, it could appear to be a simple bookstore (of course, one disguised as a Design Center), but inside, as a well-kept secret, it hides some of the rarest and hardest to get copies on the matter. The subject: architecture. And the question here is simple, where do these books come from? Each exhibition presented by the Arca library in its Guadalajara facilities, is made possible thanks to four architects: Rafael Plascencia, Luis Aldrete, Salvador Macías, and Magui Peredo, each one with different research areas, which unite in one idea: to cure books, not only supply them to fill the space.
This is a special place for them, where their personal interest can be seen in the search of recent editions and older ones that turn their acquisition into a luxury. And what do they intend with this? To create a constant expectation on the novelties they discover on their trips.
The four characters embark on excursions and travel the world to get these editions, each city is chosen according to its publishing offer, there are not many bookstores specialized in architecture and design, reason why they have to do some deep research in order to find them (they also visit second-hand stores) with the purpose of networking and visiting them often. After some months, the trips repeat and the hunt for new volumes begins, at the same time, the next event at the Arca library is planned, where new acquisitions are exhibited, bids and auctions are held through which older works provide a new dynamic to book selling.
Even though they would not reveal their favorite authors to us, they did tell us that for them, the best thing is to find shelves holding old editions that nurture their interests and research purposes. Of course, each expedition also brings a portfolio of stories starred by different personalities from the art scene, like their latest trip to San Francisco (United States), where they met William Stout (from William Stout Architectural Books), who offered them a tour of his private warehouse and showed them his collection. Some of the books he keeps are out of print and he owns over 20,000 titles, a Le Corbusier collection with over 800 copies, among them.
This time, some of the books (among many others) that can be seen on display are:
- Eugene Poppel, Italien
- Living Architecture: Japanese. Photos by: Yukio Futagawa
- Barozzi Veiga Arquitectos
- Livio Vacchini: Projekte, 1989-1991
- GA Document 21: Carlo Scarpa, Selected Drawings
- Precisions: On The Present State of Architecture and City Planning
Grupo Arca chose this architect quartet from Guadalajara for their expertise on the matter and for their need to share architectural culture across the world, one of the many cultural initiatives it features to take things beyond the material.
The library, the Design Center, and the exhibition hall (with temporary exhibits since it opened this past April) are open for guests free of charge any day of the week, in addition to the coffee shop, which is opening soon.
Where: Design Center Guadalajara Grupo Arca
Avenida Acueducto 6050, Lomas del Bosque, Guadalajara, Zapopan