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3DVisA Index of 3D Projects: Architectural and Urban Studies

El Templo Mayor del Tenochtitlan, Mexico

The Aztecs founded the city of Tenochtitlan in 1325 and in the same year started to build El Templo Mayor, the Great Temple. It was the largest pyramid ever constructed by the Aztecs and their most sacred site. Twin shrines at the top were dedicated to the supreme god Huitzilopochtli and the god of rain, Tlaloc. Large steep stairs led to the shrines. The temple was remodelled and enlarged several times, but fell into disrepair with the collapse of the Aztec civilization. Its remnants were discovered in the centre of modern Mexico City in 1978.

A digital reconstruction of El Templo Mayor and its surroundings was created in 2002 to accompany the Aztecs exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts. The Academy commissioned the Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA) at the University of Bath, to develop a computer model and a seven-minute-long animation.

Project dates: 2002.

Resource status: The model was on view at the Aztecs exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, 16 November 2002-11 April 2003; Martin-Gropius-Bar, Berlin, 17 May-10 August 2003; Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, 26 September 2003-11 January 2004..

Contributors: The project was directed by Professor Robert Tavernor; modelling by Henry Chow, Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA), Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath.

Sources and further details:

Architectural findings on display at Aztecs Exhibition, University of Bath Press Release, 26 February 2003 (incl. images).

CASA website: Completed projects.

The Aztecs exhibition on the Royal Academy website.

Aztecs, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2002. (There is a chapter about the Templo Mayor, but the catalogue does not mention the computer visualisation.)

Record compiled by Anna Bentkowska-Kafel. Last updated: 11 September 2006.

3DVisA gratefully acknowledges the help of ...... with preparation of this record.

CASA and 3DVisA, 2006.

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