Framing the Void
Graduate Studio IV - Option Studio
Instructor - Rene Davids
Lima currently exhibits an oppositional relationship between history and contemporary society. Much of the city’s cultural wealth has been consumed by the expansion of the modern urban context. The remaining windows into the past, scattered throughout the city, are known as huacas. These pyramidal structures provide locals and visitors with visual cues into a vibrant past. However, surrounded by boundaries in the form of concrete or metal fences, the huacas have also become desolate voids in the city.
In an attempt to provide more public space, and to emphasize the significance of the past, this proposal re-frames the huaca sites through a series of simple architectural interventions. Each intervention provides sectional variation at its respective site, so as to offer a new perspective on each huaca and the associated pre-Columbian canals and roadways. Eliminating the current boundary at each site, the footprint of each intervention acts as a new, open threshold to allow for free movement and engagement with a huaca. By opening the huaca sites, the structures encourage people to gather and engage with the past. Employing a simple material palette, each architecture becomes secondary to its huaca, providing a subtle window into the richness of the past.