"Historic Preservation champions and protects places that tell the story of our past."
The Spring 2015 Historic Preservation/Advanced Design Studio traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico to site visit the Ciencias y Artes building at the Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez. The studio focused on the historic urban landscape and historic architecture. The intervention to Ciencias y Artes emphasized building conservation and adaptive reuse to implement changes to the functioning law school by adding a cultural museum, gift store, restaurant, administration, lecture/auditorium space, and graduate student housing. The challenge was to engage a creative process developing an architectural proposal compatible with the historic building and its physiognomy, materiality and structural integrity while exploring a range of possibilities for the preservation, revitalization and development of the city itself. Oaxaca City as a World Heritage Site and the surrounding regions were explored and researched in order to determine typologies and identify historic structures and places, investigating possible adaptive reuses for selected structure, and addressing compatibility of new development with the historic nature of the city.