Architect Norman Foster and Carlos Slim's son-in-law win Mexico City airport design bid: source

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Renowned British architect Norman Foster and a son-in-law of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim have won a design contract for a new $9.15 billion airport for Mexico City, a source familiar with the decision said on Tuesday.

British architect Norman Foster poses for photographers during the opening of new winery Portia in the region of Ribera del Duero in Gumiel of Hizan, near Burgos October 28, 2010. REUTERS/Felix Ordonez

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters that the joint design by Foster and Fernando Romero had won the contract. Mexico’s airport operator ASA, which is overseeing the tender, declined to comment.

Arturo Elias, Slim’s spokesman and son-in-law, told Reuters in late May that a design fronted by Foster and Romero was among a handful of bids submitted.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier on Tuesday announced plans for the new, six-runway airport, saying the city’s current airport is overburdened.

He said the new airport will eventually be able to handle up to 120 million passengers a year.

The design contract is worth a fraction of the overall $9.15 billion airport project.

Romero, who is married to Soumaya Slim, a daughter of Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men, is the head of FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise.

The firm designed Mexico City’s distinctive Museo Soumaya, which houses much of Slim’s personal art collection behind its sloping, silvery walls.

Slim, who controls Mexican telecoms giant America Movil, is behind a diversified empire that spans mining to banking and retail.

Foster is one of the world’s most famous architects, and his practice, Foster + Partners, has designed dozens of high-profile projects around the world, including Beijing Airport and London’s Wembley Stadium.

With reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and Dave Graham; Editing by Simon Gardner and Michael Perry