Mexico City: A Visit to the University of Mexico City (UNAM)

More

I visited to the Campus of the University of Mexico City (UNAM). This is the largest of Mexico's Universities. More than 600,000 students are enrolled at the many campuses of this great University. Each of the Mexican states has its own university system.
I remembered spectacular murals and beautiful architecture from a visit many decades ago. The reality far exceeded my expectations.
The campus, built between 1950 and 1952, was designed by three architects Carlos Novoa, Carlos Lazo and Gustavo Tavesi. It is a model of functionally beautiful design. Each building is separated by wide green space and surrounded by generous plaza. The buildings and their placement are themselves works of art. The entire campus is designated as a World Heritage site.
The masterpiece is the mosaic clad central library. Juan O'Gorman, a Mexican artist of Irish descent is the artist. One façade depicts the gods on the Aztec, another science, the God of the modern world. The second great façade illustrates the Spanish conquest and cultural influence. The fourth side illustrates scenes of the Mexican Revolution. The building and mosaics are unique in my experience. It is a wonder that more buildings in this world are not so enhanced.
A second tower is enhanced by a tree dimensional mural by Siqueiros. The art is an integral part of the building. Here a hand reaches to write the future (It ends 19??-We now wonder what 2??? will bring).

haseltine6.jpg

William Haseltine


The details of the campus are pleasing. Translucent golden onyx slabs decorate exterior and light interior spaces. The rough lava faces of Aztec Gods peer across fountains and from supporting walls. Outdoor lamps are built into stone spheres reminiscent of the mysterious Costa Rican granite spheres.
The UNAM campus is an integral work of beauty, worth a trip to visit and enjoy.

Jump to comments

William Haseltine is a former professor at Harvard Medical School, where he researched cancer and HIV/AIDS. He is the founder of Human Genome Sciences, where he served as chairman and CEO, and the president of the William A Haseltine Foundation for Medical Sciences and the Arts. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down