Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Faculty of Anthropological Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

Exemplary design categories: access, cultural and historical value, flexible learning settings, school/community regeneration

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The objective of this project was to convey the archaeological significance of this Mayan site, which exists in the middle of a crowded city, using the metaphor of time. The main vestibule contains ramps representing historical paths: the main hall of the access plaza denotes the present; the underground artificial pond the past; and the roof, which is the observatory, the future. Elevated by a green platform, the building is composed of two main modules: classrooms, and offices for researchers, administration and services. The researchers’ zone forms a “U”, which links up with the classrooms, symbolising the close relation between research and learning. This block contains three unique courtyards, which balances the amount of inner and outer space. The site composition is asymmetric, using the slipped volumes of Mayan architecture, such as the cylindrical element located next to a big deck in the roof, which serves as an observatory to look at the sky. As part of the plans to restructure the university into 5 separate campuses, antennas (Red Universitaria) serve as information links between each campus. Wireless has also been installed. As enrolments are expected to grow in the future, there is the possibility of adding one more floor to the Faculty. A new classroom module is also under construction as part of the original plan to integrate the module as part of the existing building.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
The university authorities gave feedback regarding the design and different space requirements in the building.

Activity Areas: classrooms, conferences rooms, outdoor classrooms with central courtyards, auditoriums, central library

Project costs: MXN 25,000,000.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

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User perspectives (1)

”As far as I am concerned, based on the comments I have heard, the building is very stunning and the spatial design facilities provided are very adequate to keep the Anthropological Sciences Faculty. However, there is an inconvenient in the research’s offices area because the equipment is controlled from one of the three offices that shares de air conditioning service, with the problems that generates.”
Professor Hebe Arehmi Mendiburu Carrillo

Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Building plans (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Roberto José Ancona
Cross-sections (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Roberto José Ancona
Location plan (Registration required)
image/pjpeg
Credit: Roberto José Ancona
Furniture plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Roberto José Ancona