Postcard from Puebla, Mexico: Up on the Rooftop

A prerequisite for wandering the streets of Puebla should be to climb up to the rooftop of the Museo Amparo the first day. Streets are crowded, and there are too many distractions and too few viewsheds to really appreciate the cross-topped towers and domes dominating the skyline of the historic center.

The rooftop view completely alters your impression of both the city’s architecture and its setting. Here you can glimpse the tilework covering church domes in every direction from so many different vantage points.

Although the museum is housed in two colonial buildings, a major re-do completed in January 2013 gave the interiors a contemporary update.

And, about that rooftop. In an interview by Eva Bjerring for, Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos explains:

The client, the Amparo Foundation, wanted to increase the Museum’s exhibit capacity and its square footage without destroying the old construction. With a limited site, the only option to grow was by re-using the existing patios and taking advantage of the 5th façade, the roof terrace.

And take advantage they did. Bjerring writes:

…the views from the roof terrace connect the museum to the city context, both in choice of material, references to local history and by access to an extraordinary view of Puebla’s old church domes, towers and landscapes. This unique view hasn’t been exploited previously in any other part of the city. Even in bad weather the refined extension into the skyline leaves the visitor with a feel of close connection to the buzzing colonial hub.

Coffee and cocktails can be had inside the glass-walled café or outside on the extensive terrace. And have no idea why we did not make it back to view a sunset and nighttime illumination of the domes.

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