Architect Viviana Ruiz Boisjeauneau studied architecture at UNAM in Mexico City. Her particular interests are in architecture for communities and restoration. Here she describes her vision for the extension to the Oaxaca Learning Center at #703 Murguia.
In general, the idea of the project for the Oaxaca Learning Center is to create a very open space, with a strong structure. It needs to be rigid, but flexible, given that we’re in an earthquake zone. So we’re proposing a steel structure, which will give stability but also flexibility. And then, although we have a defined structure, we can play with the space within it and revise it according the the Center’s needs. So although, together with the Center’s team, we've decided on a form now, if at some stage they decide it needs to be different, it can easily be modified.
We’re making the most use we can of natural light and natural ventilation. We're keeping the patio and that will give light to all the rooms. We’re also going to collect rainwater, which can be used to water the garden and for the bathrooms.
A very beautiful characteristic of this house is that it’s in the historic zone of Oaxaca. Although it’s not one of the main historic buildings, it still has an historic significance, because it's an example of the family homes which surrounded the historic center. So I want to conserve the historic part, the facade in front of the house - in fact to restore that so it’s as close to the original as possible - and combine that with a new architecture, which speaks to the current time. So we'll combine the architectures from the two periods and respect each equally.
The patio will give life to both architectures. I like that because the patio also has a significance: as well as being emblematic of the house and important for the students, there’s a significance in the plants, which speak of growth. There’s a yucca, which was planted when tiny and now is huge. And this is a like the Learning Center, which keeps growing, and also symbolises the belief we have that the students will grow in this space.
See Viviana explain more in the video below.