Mexican megabillionaire Carlos Slim is building a striking contemporary museum in Mexico City that will house his world-class art collection, including the second-largest cache of Auguste Rodin sculptures in private hands. The museum, which is being designed by Slim's 38-year-old son-in-law, Fernando Romero, will be part of an enormous complex including headquarters for the magnate's telecom corporations Grupo Carso and Telcel, a shopping mall, and luxury apartment housing.
The building, which will be a second home for Slim's Soumaya Museum, named after his late wife, is planned as a shimmering, aluminum-clad structure resembling a saddle horn or a swelling wave — a design that Romero, who previously worked with Rem Koolhaas, has recruited Frank Gerhy's engineering firm and a Los Angeles company that worked on Beijing's Olympic Bird's Nest to help implement. When completed, the $34 million museum will tower 150 feet in the air with five stories of exhibition space totaling 183,000 square feet, all wrapped in a honeycombed aluminum skin.
One of the richest men in the world and a frequent target of controversy in his native Mexico, Slim has over the years amassed an art collection containing 66,000 pieces. By point of comparison, L.A. collector Eli Broad's vaunted contemporary art holdings consist of roughly 2,000 pieces.