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Landscape + Memory Man + Nature

Dialogue between the human (ephemeral) and the landscape (permanent)


"One throws a stone into the water: the sand swirls and settles again. The disturbance was necessary, and the stone has found its place. However, the pond is no longer the same as before." -Peter Zumthor.


The importance of a landscape with the historical and natural relevance that the Tlacolula Valley has in the state of Oaxaca, both for its archaeological remains and for its floristic wealth represents one of the most valuable opportunities that Oaxacan society has to exalt its cultural values and natural as well as rethinking the relationship that currently exists between man and nature to bring it towards a balance and sustainable in the ecological, economic and social fields.

In this place where there are vestiges that show the transition from nomadic life to sedentary lifestyle and one of the two cradles or centers of origin and diffusion of corn on the American continent, there is the opportunity to generate a space that not only attracts the tourist public local and international, but also manages to promote conservation, cultural and environmental education actions in society.

The historical value of a place is not always a sufficiently emblematic factor to maintain a cultural attraction on its own, that is why through a series of architectural and landscape interventions, it seeks to generate an enhancement of historical attributes , cultural, natural and scientific of the site.


These interventions are intended to reveal sites of high heritage value, making them accessible to the public but, at the same time, respecting and protecting them. This is complemented with different social strategies such as community tourism, the rescue of ancestral knowledge in both traditional construction techniques and the production, distribution and sale of food, as well as complementing economic activities through local crafts.

Design process


The Boca de Mitla Memory Park is developed through a superposition of analysis layers where surfaces, nodes and paths are identified, which allow generating a series of points in space and their respective connections through trails. The first layer, the spatial one, indicates the surfaces determined by the geographical characteristics of the site (slope, water or dense vegetation). The second layer, of memory, indicates specific sites of historical or landscape relevance that make up a geometric mesh on which, in a third layer, these points are connected, which generate the routes, the experience. The development of a community ecotourism project for this area implies an interesting option, due to the presence of the archaeological area, as well as the fact that this site is part of an area with the presence of caves where there are remains of prehistoric settlements. , currently in the process of registration and further study. Tourism from memorable times represents one of the best alternatives to boost economic and social development, attracting foreign exchange, generating jobs and raising income levels, as well as boosting economic growth. In Mitla, this project seeks to promote cultural tourism, that is, its archaeological zones, historical sites, popular arts, culture and traditions, as well as its intangible heritage.

Oscar Hagerman Award 2019.

First place.

Members: Byron Cadena, Carlos Arcos, Diego Ledesma and Melissa Santamaría.

November2019. Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico.

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