Ubicado en la Universidad La Salle, se trata de un punto de reunión para jóvenes que gustan del arte y la cultura en todas sus expresiones. El nombre del lugar recuerda al arquitecto mexicano que construyó importantes obras en colonias cosmopolitas como Polanco o Lomas.
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La Salle University concluded the construction of the Vladimir Kaspé Cultural Center with the inauguration by Rector Raúl Valadez, who handed over this architecturally and technologically avant-garde project with the following words: “We Lasallians have much to be grateful for these first 100 years in Mexico and much to do for the second centenary. The creation of this Cultural Center, dedicated to promoting culture and art inside and outside the university, is a contribution that this institution makes to Mexican society, to which it owes its debt and for whom it works with absolute dedication”.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Virginia Jaramillo, head of the Cuauhtémoc delegation; Francisco Osornio, director of Cultural Precincts of the Federal District Government; Lucio Tazzer, president of the Board of Governors of La Salle University; and Ambrosio Luna, rector-elect of ULSA.
Characteristic of the Cultural Center is its atmosphere surrounded by art and culture, which was noticed since its opening with the exhibition of antique automobiles from the 50’s, which were part of the context in which Vladimir proposes a language in his projects, where the human scale is fundamental for the design and perception of the architectural space. In this center, the first posthumous exhibition of the master Raúl Anguiano is also present, in which the engraving Crucifixion was unveiled, the first piece donated to the cultural heritage of the same.
“Pensando en Voz Alta” (Thinking Out Loud) is another exhibition presented and consists of a collection of 14 portraits of artists such as Raúl Anguiano, Juan Soriano, José Luis Cuevas and Rafael Cauduro, among others. Likewise, the doors were opened for young and talented artists, who exhibit sculptures and illustrations with mixed and digital techniques.
La Salle University demonstrates congruence with its mission and philosophy, which are reflected in the academic achievements beyond theory and whose sample is this project that emerged from the classrooms to capture the essence and transcendence of the architect Kaspé.
His time in our classrooms since its founding and his support for students even after his death is incalculable, but we will try to summarize the highlights of this great teacher. We will talk a little about his history as a teacher, right down to the building and scholarship that bear his name.
Vladimir Kaspé was present at La Salle from the beginning of FaMADyC.
The architect was part of the advisory board since the founding of the Escuela Mexicana de Arquitectura (EMA), today FAMADyC, in 1964. In addition, he spent most of the rest of his life teaching in our classrooms.
In the words of Architect Homero Hernández Tena, today Director of FaMADyC, who took classes with Kaspé, “he used to say that his family were the young people, all the Lasallians he taught.”
He was very kind, a very warm person, who spoke to all his students as “usted” and even at 95 years old he still had his Russian accent. There were professors who made you suffer, but he was charismatic. He made you like architecture. He was a good person and a good teacher.”
The Vladimir Kaspé Building in Unidad Condesa II
His name is on the Lasallian walls; of course we are referring to the white building at the entrance of Unit II, the Vladimir Kaspé Cultural Center; made up of a steel structure, concrete walls and U-glass window.
It was built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the then EMADYC, when the director was Mtro. Jorge Manuel Iturbe Bermejo. A competition was held for the entire Lasallian community to design a project that was different from the other buildings of La Salle; that had a resemblance to the works of Vladimir Kaspé; and that offered different services.
The project of architects Jorge Hernández de la Garza, Gabriel Covarrubias González and Gerardo Broisin Covarrubias won.
This space has a terrace for cocktails, a computer room and an auditorium, an architecture workshop, as well as a space for the Vladimir Kaspé collection (which we will discuss in more detail below).
There is also the Vladimir Kaspé Scholarship and the Vladimir Kaspé Collection.
Vladimir Kaspé wanted to give everything and more to La Salle; proof of this was that he donated his private collection of books. It is currently managed by the library, and not only are there copies (some of them in Russian), there are also plans and works by the architect himself. You can consult the Vladimir Kaspé collection on the second floor of the building of the same name.
In addition, at the end of the 1990s he created the scholarship that also bears his name. This came from the proceeds of the sale of five buildings; the proceeds were earmarked for this financial support, which is awarded to graduate students abroad. The amount usually varies, but ranges from 150 to 250 thousand pesos.
An architectural genius in Mexico
After leaving Russia at a very young age and studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he came to Mexico to realize his unique projects.
In the words of the Director of Famadyc, “he is one of the 10 most influential architects in Mexico”. Among his works are the Franco-Mexican Lyceum, the Israelite Sports Center, as well as several houses and buildings in the Polanco, Anzures, Napoles and Del Valle neighborhoods.
Upon becoming director, Mr. Homero decided to keep the desk and lamp that Architect Kaspé used to occupy.