Hidden Heritage under threat: Faculty of Education Building, University of Costa Rica

ICOMOS - International Council on Monuments and Sites

The university buildings were designed respecting the existing topography of the site. In the case of the Faculty of Education building, the terrain was levelled. This structure is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Location
The Faculty of Education building is located next to the ring road that surrounds the campus, in an area close to the General Studies buildings and the Schools of Plastic Arts and Musical Arts. Each of these buildings are isolated volumes, with the presence of a similar constructive language but with a great diversity of forms.

The conception of the Rodrigo Facio campus took place during the revival of the university following similar initiatives across the Americas.

History
The University of Costa Rica was officially created in the 1940´s. The buildings of the Universidad de Costa Rica built in the decade (1952-1962) in the canton of Montes de Oca are a good example of how the rationalist language of the modern movement was introduced in the country.  These buildings were designed by the Engineering Department of the institution.  Although in various forms, they are representative of the type of architecture that was developed in that first moment: constructions of high quality and with clear intentions to relate harmoniously with the immediate environment. The Education Faculty building was inaugurated in 1958.
Why is it Significant?
It is a character defining element of authentic grammatical design language of the first eight campus buildings, with interesting construction and plastic attributes to fit the weather of Costa Rica.
Architectural ceramics as public art
In the screen wall beige, the morning sun, rays projected grazing light on the wall--in an almost fleeting temporality--and becomes a mirror of the tops of the nearby trees. It also becomes a mobile screen projection of shadows of the vegetation that surrounds it. The play of light and shadow on the surface is a whole sensory experience for the attentive viewer.

Ceramic architectural artwork

Hidden Murals, Invisible Treasures

Garden space located in back of building

Front entrance of building

A look inside the building

Semi-public space of building.

A look inside the building.

Stakeholders
Students, faculty, staff and visitors enjoyed this building's facilities, adapted to the local climate and environment
Adapted to nature
Local fauna and flora of this magnificent architecture
Hidden Murals & Invisible Treasures
Why is it under threat ?
Currently, the university is carrying out a massive project to adapt new technological facilities to meet codes and regulations imposed by the national legislation. Buildings are being transformed without respect to their heritage value by other structures, thereby being condemned to obsolescence. 
Weathering 
Credits: Story

Photos and texts by Ofelia Sanou and Alberto Collado

Ruiz, A., 2011.” La Educación Superior en Costa Rica: tendencias y retos en un nuevo escenario”. Comisión Nacional de Rectores. Editorial Universidad de Costa Rica, pp. 5-6.

Sanou, O., 2004. “La arquitectura”. In: Rodríguez V. Costa Rica en el siglo XX. Tomo II. Editorial Universidad Estatal a distancia, pp. 280-284.

Carteles de la exposición el Museo+UCR exposición histórica sobre el campus de la UCR 8 nov. 2012. Laura Raabe Cercone, curadora de artes visuales del Museo+UCR.

Historic Photogrhapies .http://www.ucr.ac.cr/multimedios/galerias/70-aniversario-universidad-de-costa-rica/1950.html

Padilla, José Emilio. Ideas para Planear la Ciudad Universitaria de Costa
Rica.http://revistas.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/ucr/article/view/21918


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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