Although the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), south of Mexico City, is home to the well-known O’Gorman murals, it is, in fact, the campus itself, that is quite intriguing. Walking through UNAM, individuals find themselves in an architectural display of modernist buildings that date back 70 years, along with open courtyards, hidden walkways, and pavilions. Uniquely, the campus buildings have a little bit of everything: bold geometry, openness, abstraction, humanistic design, permeability with nature, decaying masonry walls, local lava rocks used as walls, and pavers throughout the campus.
To present this architectural diversity, photographer Yueqi “Jazzy” Li visited UNAM and captured the dynamism of its campus.
It was particularly important for me to expose the rigor of this haven of modernist buildings - spatial parallels, alignments, and centering. The indigenous planting helps soften such rigorous volumes of spaces. As a result, the geometric abstraction of the architecture is perfectly married to the figures in nature, giving the campus a fresh sense of space and humanity - a quality that is often times missing in pure modernist works.
- Yueqi “Jazzy” Li