La Plaza de Soledad designing for a city
Study abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico In collaboration with Kelly Kraemer and Chen Hu Spring 2011 This project is a redesign of La Plaza de Basilica Soledad in Oaxaca, Mexico. The plaza serves a diverse range of functions within the city of Oaxaca such as providing space for large performances, ice cream vendors, and worship. However, with severe grade changes and a disorganized stair system, the existing site is difficult to navigate. The intent of the project was to shape a more functional and cohesive space within the parameters of the existing buildings that border the site, while also introducing new programmatic structures. Overall, the project was designed to promote issues at the scale of the city, the site, and the individual building. The design process was conducted through modeling and ink on mylar drawings. The focus for this design was derived from a desire to announce the significant buildings that border the site, such as the city hall, a music school, and Basilica Soledad. The idea of “porches,” created by blocks of stairs, and “patios,” created by slight level changes up or down, played an important role within the design in developing a strong sense of presence at the entrance to each building. In addition, a central stair system complimented with lines of trees created a rhythmic and visually strong axis for travel across the site.