Originally praised as a cultural icon, the Biblioteca Vasconcelos didn't debut however without its own share of controversy and political scandal. Opened in May of 2006 as the largest library in Latin America as well as the largest investment in infrastructure during the Vincente Fox administration, the library was closed just one year later amid construction defects and political scandal.
Winning an international competition, Mexican architect Alberto Kalach conceptualized the library as an "Ark of Knowledge" and named it after the Mexican philosopher and politician José Vasconcelos.
The vernacular architecture of the region (Teotihuacan temples) shows through in the elevations:
Landscaping plays a huge role in the exterior aesthetic of the library; rather than erecting a blocky tower on a razed plot, the architects incorporated the region's natural flora to soften the effect of all that concrete and glass.