A Study in Architecture

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This man was an architecture student at the University of Mexico City.  During a trip to Ek Balam, a site of remarkably well  preserved Mayan architecture and dramatic government reconstruction, this man climbed a temple and began a series of sketches.  Focusing on the non-embellished aspects of the site, he lightly sketched doorways and stairways with a pencil then colored them in with a small watercolor set he carried in his backpack.  Although Ek Balam is home to one of the most well preserved full scale Mayan temples in the Yucatan Peninsula, it is also a site altered by the government in an effort to promote historical tourism.  When you arrive at Ek Balam, you pass through a large stone archway before you enter the main complex of buildings.  This arch is a fabrication, most likely created out of a poorly preserved or completely ruined building, to add aesthetic interest to the site.  While in the past, the Mexican government has toppled and removed ruins to make room for other economic activities, it is wonderful to see a new movement in preservation and historical appreciation.  However, it is sad that often in this movement the goal is the economic benefits of the ruins and reconstruction can happen rapidly with less aim on historical accuracy.

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One thought on “A Study in Architecture

  1. Sometimes there is a trade-off that has to happen in order for any of these sites to survive at all. Accurate historical reconstruction is, of course, the most desirable outcome. But given the real constraints of funding for preservation and reconstruction sometimes we have to settle for less. This approach, for instance, the creative re-use and repurposing of historic buildings, has sacrificed some historical accuracy but prevented the buildings from being razed and disappearing forever.

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