Unbuilding Spanish Colonial Architecture in Mexico City

Jorge De La Torre, B.Arch '21


ARCH 502A: Architectural Design V

Gallery: Proving Ground: UNESCO's Laboratories

Instructor: Marcos Sánchez

This project begins by dissecting a block in the historic center of Mexico City, revealing an Aztec causeway, or “cuepotli” as it was known in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. Both contemporary and Spanish colonial-era buildings are revised and partially removed, revealing a linear urban space, flanked by new walls constructed of found and demolished building materials from the site. Part archeological and architectural, this project deconstructs old architecture to reconstruct elements of an older city, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Focusing on a single block, further extensions of the project would extend throughout the Centro Historico and ultimately unearth much of the central cuepotli network in Mexico City.


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