Plaza del Sol, the architectural and commercial icon of Guadalajara

The construction of the first commercial centre of Latin America in Guadalajara marks a milestone in the contemporary history of the city, thanks to businessmen from Guadalajara known as Sociedad de Centros commercial de Guadalajara S.A. For the architect and urban planner Ricardo Agraz Orozco, the work of Plaza del Sol is a set of good ideas that resulted in an urban project that became not only an icon of Guadalajara but of Mexico and Latin America:

"The vision of entrepreneurs grouped in a society allowed to observe the needs of a city that was in the process of growth. The tapatíos were accustomed to carry out their purchases in the Center of the city, in establishments that were in places in narrow streets, in addition, the vehicular traffic was on increase, the reason, why to realize its activities in the Center, began to complicate itself a little. That's why they moved their stores to a wide space, where you could walk without complications".

To carry out the executive project, the work was designed by the architect Alejandro Zohn, who had made Mercado Libertad-San Juan de Dios and other emblematic works of the city such as the Acoustic Shell of the Agua Azul Park. Zohn made different trips to the United States to observe the trends in design, construction processes and operation of the mall model in the US, the mall. These spaces brought together different types of commercial establishments, service and recreation in a wide space, sheltered from the climatic conditions, but adapted to the comfort of the time.

"The great merit of Alejandro Zohn was to create a space tailored to the needs of a society such as the tapatía that had its deep-rooted buying habits. He adapted the mall concept and combined it with elements such as open space and plazas. Plaza del Sol, due to its characteristics, offers the attendant comfort and relaxation, "says Ricardo Agraz Orozco.

In addition, the avant-garde technology that was available was used in its construction process. "The work was based on concrete structures that give rigidity and a solid body to the whole plaza. Today the constructions opt for materials and light structures ", explains architect Agraz Orozco.

The architectural and urbanistic model applied to Plaza del Sol, 50 years after its construction, remains in force despite the changes that have taken place in the city, which has grown in an unordered manner:

"The integration of community that has Plaza del Sol is unique, has been and is the meeting point of families, all the people of Guadalajara have a history with the square. The appropriation of space is different from other shopping centres. The place became a public space, but in reality, it is a private space, which is already from Guadalajara, "concludes Agraz Orozco.

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