Ancient Origins of the Mexican Plaza: From Primordial Sea to Public Space (Roger Fullington Series in Architecture)

Ancient Origins of the Mexican Plaza: From Primordial Sea to Public Space (Roger Fullington Series in Architecture)

By: Logan Wagner (author), Susan Kline Morehead (author), Hal Box (author)Hardback

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The plaza has been a defining feature of Mexican urban architecture and culture for at least 4,000 years. Ancient Mesoamericans conducted most of their communal life in outdoor public spaces, and today the plaza is still the public living room in every Mexican neighborhood, town, and city-the place where friends meet, news is shared, and personal and communal rituals and celebrations happen. The site of a community's most important architecture-church, government buildings, and marketplace-the plaza is both sacred and secular space and thus the very heart of the community. This extensively illustrated book traces the evolution of the Mexican plaza from Mesoamerican sacred space to modern public gathering place. The authors led teams of volunteers who measured and documented nearly one hundred traditional Mexican town centers. The resulting plans reveal the layers of Mesoamerican and European history that underlie the contemporary plaza. The authors describe how Mesoamericans designed their ceremonial centers as embodiments of creation myths-the plaza as the primordial sea from which the earth emerged. They discuss how Europeans, even though they sought to eradicate native culture, actually preserved it as they overlaid the Mesoamerican sacred plaza with the Renaissance urban concept of an orthogonal grid with a central open space. The authors also show how the plaza's historic, architectural, social, and economic qualities can contribute to mainstream urban design and architecture today.

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About Author

Logan Wagner, who grew up in Mexico, is an architect, author, and teacher of architectural design, architectural history, and vernacular building techniques. He is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture at Texas A&M University. He coauthored Contemporary Mexican Design and Architecture. The late Hal Box was Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He was named Dean Emeritus before his passing in 2011. His fifty years' experience in teaching and practicing architecture included work on schools, churches, office and commercial buildings, dormitories, and residences, as well as urban design projects. He was the author of Think Like an Architect. Susan Kline Morehead holds an M.A. in architectural history and theory from the University of Texas at Austin, and she has spent nearly thirty years directing nonprofit arts organizations at the city, state, and national levels. She regularly lectures on sixteenth-century Mexican architecture and iconography.


Authors' Note Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One. The Primordial Sea: Forming Open Space in Mesoamerica Mesoamerican Concept of Space Mountains and Altepetls Caves, Quatrefoils, and Sunken Courts Types of Open Space in Mesoamerica Triad Centering * U-shaped Courts * Quadrangles Quincunx: Symbol of the Cosmos Ballcourts The Sunken Court of Teopantecuanitlan The Dallas Plaque: A Cosmogram Chapter Two. Forming Spanish Towns in Mesoamerican Culture People and Ideas The Invasion The Europeans Making Contact European Plazas in the Early Sixteenth Century Origins of the Plaza Building New World Towns Types of Towns * First Acts and Encounters Laws of the Indies Conversion Quincunx Patios Relaciones Geograficas Chapter Three. Sixteenth-Century Communal Open Spaces (Five Hundred Years Later) Caves and Crevices Amecameca, State of Mexico * Zoquizoquipan, Hidalgo * Valladolid, Yucatan Quincunxial Arrangements Atlatlahuacan, Morelos * Huejotzingo, Puebla * Huaquechula, Puebla * Zacualpan de Amilpas, Morelos Terraced Mountains Molango, Hidalgo * Achiutla, Oaxaca * Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca Sunken Courts Tepoztlan, Morelos * Tochimilco, Puebla * Calpan, Puebla Ballcourts and Bullrings Villa Diaz Ordaz, Oaxaca * Tlanalapa, Hidalgo * Tepeapulco, Hidalgo Open Space Ensembles Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca * Tlacolula, Oaxaca * Otumba de Gomez Farias, State of Mexico * Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca * Tepeaca, Puebla * Etla, Oaxaca Bishop Quiroga's Utopias in Michoacan Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan * Patzcuaro, Michoacan * Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacan * Erongaricuaro, Michoacan * Angahuan, Michoacan Visible Overlays and Deliberate Alignments Mitla, Oaxaca * Hacienda Xaaga, Oaxaca * Teposcolula, Oaxaca * Coixtlahuaca, Oaxaca * Epazoyucan, Hidalgo The Yucatan Experience Yotholin, Yucatan * Tibolon, Yucatan * Izamal, Yucatan Chapter Four. Origins and Evolution Epilogue: Plazas in the Twenty-first Century The San Miguel Example Qualities of Successful Plazas Sprawl and the American Myth Appendix. Measured Drawings: Plans of Towns Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 16/01/2013
  • ISBN13: 9780292719163
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 254
  • ID: 9780292719163
  • weight: 1520
  • ISBN10: 0292719167

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