一所大學校園也能列入世界遺產？是的，非常罕見，那就是墨西哥國立自治大學的 Ciudad Universitaria Campus。
CU World Cultural Site embraces the campus’s first circuit, originally inaugurated in 1952, and fifty buildings within the central nucleus consisting of 176.5 hectares, which constitutes about 25% of the entire campus complex. The site is delimited by the Olympic Stadium to the east, the Sports Complex to the south, the Faculty of Medicine to the west and the Faculties of Philosophy and Letters, Law and Odontology to the north. (http://www.patrimoniomundial.unam.mx/)
The history of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, also known as UNAM goes back to 1551 when the Royal and Pontifical University was founded. In 1910, the University was re-inaugurated with the name of Universidad Nacional de México, and finally in 1929 obtained its autonomy and current official name. UNAM is Mexico’s largest public university and represents the largest academic institution in the Hispanic world. It is also the only university in Mexico with Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni: Alfonso García Robles (Peace), Octavio Paz (Literature), and Mario Molina (Chemistry).
The Central University City Campus (Campus Central de la Ciudad Universitaria, CU) is UNAM’s main campus, located in the southwest of the Mexico City’s Coyoacán borough. The campus was constructed between 1949 and 1952 by more than 60 architects, engineers and artists, including Mario Pani, Enrique del Moral, Domingo García Ramos, Armando Franco Rovira, and Ernesto Gómez Gallardo. It was built on an ancient solidified lava bed in Coyoacán called “El Pedregal" to replace the scattered buildings in downtown Mexico City where classes were given. At the time of its completion (1954) it was the largest single construction project in Mexico since the Aztecs.
Due to its outstanding architecture, CU was officially enrolled on the World Heritage Site ledger on July 2, 2007. According to the text of the communiqué: “The urbanism and architecture of the Central University City Campus of UNAM constitute an outstanding example of the application of the principles of 20th Century modernism merged with features stemming from pre-Hispanic Mexican tradition. The ensemble became one of the most significant icons of modern urbanism and architecture in Latin America, recognized at universal level.”
Estadio Olímpico Universitario/University Olympic Stadium
Estadio Olímpico Universitario, a multipurpose stadium, was the first major work undertaken on the Central Campus. It was officially opened on the 20th of November 1952 and hosted the 1968 Summer Olympics. The stadium mimics a volcano rising from the earth, is the work of architects Augusto Pérez Palacios, Jorge Bravo Jiménez and Raúl Salinas Moro.
On the east side of University Olympic Stadium, is a mural by Diego Rivera (1886-1957), called “The University, the Mexican family, Peace, and Athletic Youth”. In the construction of the relief in natural colored stones shows the university shield, with the condor and the eagle on a cactus. Under their wings outstretched, Rivera placed three figures representing the family: the father and the mother giving the dove of peace to his son. At the extremes are two gigantic figures that correspond to some athletes, male and female, who light the torch of Olympic flame. A huge feathered serpent, the symbolic image of the pre-Hispanic god Quetzalcoatl, complements the composition at the bottom. p.s. Diego Rivera had planned to cover the entire outside of the stadium with designs similar to this, but the artist’s death prevented him.
Biblioteca Central/Central Library Central Library is the main library in the Ciudad Universitaria of the UNAM. It is in a group of landmark buildings that make the Campus a World Heritage site. In the year of 1948 the architect and painter Juan O’Gorman was invited to the project with the architects Gustavo M. Saavedra and Juan Martínez de Velasco. The construction of the Central Library began in 1950 and built on a total area of 16000 square meters. It opened its doors for the first time on April 5, 1956. The geometric, box-like design bears murals on mosaic made by Juan O’Gorman (1905-1982) representing the different stages of the Mexican History. This mural project recognized as the largest mural in the world, covering all sides of the Library, based on Aztec and Spanish motifs and UNAM’s coat of arms, makes the Central Library as a Ciudad Universitaria’s most iconic building.
North Wall: The Pre-Hispanic Past
The mural on the north side is divided by a vertical central axis and two transversal axes, marked by blue water currents, in which there are canoes, fish, snails and snakes, elements that make reference to the Lake character of the ancient capital of Aztec, area that corresponds to the current Center historic of the city of Mexico. The scene that appears in the middle of the composition recreates the Foundation of Tenochtitlan, which took place on the island where, according to legend, the nomadic tribe of the Mexica found an Eagle perched on a cactus, which makes them delivery of the Earth, symbolized by a snake. As witnesses two masters preside over the scene, origin and essence of the great capital city of the Aztecs. The spaces delimited by axes are full of figures inspired by the Nahua codices, sorted by a symbolic order in two fields, one left and one to the right of the central axis. The left side is dominated by the Sun, Tonatiuh, naturally there are deities and scenes which in pre-Columbian mythology related aspects more bright and positive in life; on the right side belongs to the Moon, the deities and scenes that decorate it represent the scope of the negative and dark, darkness and death. The decoration on the bottom shows a set of warriors covered with animal skins and armed with batons and “chimalis" (shields).
South Wall: The Colonial Past
This wall is marked formally by the distribution of figures from a strip or column central motifs, and two large discs on the sides. It presents the basics of Spanish thought in that time, marked by the contradiction between God and demon, religiosity and worldliness, as bases of the culture. It offers a vision of the European world in conjunction with the indigenous, and develops the scheme of the colonial world.
Left and right vertices are repeated motives of the Moon and the Sun, next to series in ways that recall images of pre-Hispanic and colonial worlds.
East Wall: The Contemporary World
The atom in the center of the new worldview appears as the generator beginning of the vital energy of plants, birds, fish, reptiles, and man, and of the potential energy of minerals.
At the top of the mural appears again the eternal duality, the Sun and the Moon, just being here only symbolic correspondence with life and death. Once more Juan O’Gorman uses complementary oppositions of the reality of Mexico; placed on the left side to the world labour, industrial, transformer, and opposed it to the rural, traditional and conservative world.
West Wall: The University and the Modern Mexico
In the Middle, above the landscape of the Valley of Mexico, dominates the composition the coat of arms of the Autonomous National University of Mexico, created in 1921 during the Rectorate of José Vasconcelos. Above and to the left, in the pages of an open book, the initials of the National Library and on the right side, at the same height are, they are on parchment of the national archive.
Juan O’Gorman defines two symmetrical axes, making reference to the creative and recreational activities of this House of studies from the great coat of arms of the University. The left side of the wall forwards us, once again, one of the most traditional aspects of the Mexican people, clothing, which is an allusion to the popular and proletarian origin of professors, researchers and students of the University, as well as to the permanence and vitality of our culture. The right portion refers to the different areas in which the University participates: the science, technology and sport. This space aims to reinforce the presence of the University in contemporary Mexico. Some symbols refer to the contemporary world and the daily activity of the University: suggest two attitudes, study, and recreation; the creation of knowledge and entertainment also creative and purposeful.
Each small ridge of the building, which contains the structure that supports the mechanism of lifts intended for users, is properly decorated with some of the reasons for the huge cube. On the north side is a representation of the face of Tlaloc, the rain God, framed by hands. The South side has a huge hand holding a book open, flanked by the heads of an Aztec Warrior. In each of the sides, East and West, there are representations of Heads of pre-Hispanic warriors.