Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry

Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry is an innovative exhibition that allows us to understand, from a unique perspective, a bright moment in Mexican architecture history. The work presented in this exhibition identifies and analyzes three sixteenth-centurybuildings constructed in the Oaxacan Mixteca which exhibit complex ribbed vaults. The exhibition shows that the vaults built in Mexico were built with the same rigor and precision of their European counterparts in the great Gothic cathedrals. Using digital technologies, Prof. Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla addresses the challenge of representing and explaining the details and intricacies applied in the design, development, and construction of the lush vaults and the stone pieces that shape them. 

The exhibition responds to a rising global interest emerging from the need to understand these buildings through the eyes of construction history, focusing on information relevant to the architects and engineers interested in technical aspects. The study of these buildings is situated in the context of technology knowledge transfer and it is the first of its kind that systematically addresses the relationship between geometry,  stone stereotomy, and twenty-first century forms of architectural visualization for sixteenth-century buildings in Mexico.This exhibition and body of research have been awarded The University of Texas / Coop. Excellence Creative Research Award 2014 and the medal for best publication in Mexico City’s Architecture Biennale in 2015. 


The Alexander Architectural Archives at the University of Texas at Austin

The Alexander Architectural Archives at the University of Texas at Austin is an architectural research center of national importance. As a unit of the University of Texas Libraries within the Architecture and Planning Library, the Archives support research and education about the history of the built environment by acquiring and preserving research collections and by making them accessible. The Archives also support learning opportunities and scholarly activities for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.

The Alexander Architectural Archives constitute a repository of over 139 collections of material preserved to enrich and serve our architectural heritage. Holdings include any type of document involved in the management of a firm, the development of a design through the finished product, and the reflection of lives of architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, preservationists, historians, professors, and businesses in the industry. Emphasis is on the southwest region of the United States, however, we do have material from England, California, Chicago, and some Latin American countries.

The Alexander Architectural Archives support instruction in the School of Architecture through the doctoral level in architectural design, history, preservation and community and regional planning.