quetzaltenango | guatemala


The Intercultural Center of Quetzaltenango, a site covering 2.5 hectares, is strategically located at the heart of the “La Democracia” district. In 1930 the station and railway infrastructure were inaugurated; unfortunately in 1933 a very powerful storm destroyed the railroad tracks, which were subsequently dismantled by the government, and the station was abandoned. By 2004 the property was vacated and gifted to the Municipality of Quetzaltenango, which in turn ceded it to the Intercultural and Sports Council in 2005. Among the current uses of the Intercultural Center are the headquarters of the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala, the Mayan Costume Museum, the Octavio Ciani Railway Museum, and the Humberto Garavito Art School. In addition, there is a library specialized in history, and the Museum of Painting, currently in very poor condition.

Urban Strategy

The Intercultural Center constitutes an emblematic, diverse, accessible, active renovation project for the city of Quetzaltenango. It has the potential to become an integral model of economic revitalization by enhancing the role of culture as a public and economic good. This can be achieved through the commercialization of creative industries, with the support of the visual arts, crafts, audiovisuals, design, and new media. The Center can also offer creative services such as architecture, culture and recreation, and the promotion of research and development. The heritage buildings will be rehabilitated, the non-historical and culturally irrelevant buildings will be demolished. New uses—such as technology, cultural activities, sport and residential uses—will be introduced into the Intercultural Center.

December 2012 to February, 2014

Authors: Johanna Ettl, Roland Krebs, Marco Chavez, Victoria Tiu, Andreas Hofer