The Summer School of Traditional Architecture and Urbanism of Mexico being held in Merida and Izamal, Yucatan, is part of an international network of schools dedicated to teaching traditional building, architecture and urbanism, such as in Spain, England, Belgium, the United States of America, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Cuba, Australia, and now Mexico, in order to offer the knowledge and skills necessary for the design of durable, useful, and beautiful buildings and places.

Why a summer school of traditional architecture and urbanism?

The modern architecture and urban planning that have shaped the built environment in Mexico have not met the needs of its population. Families who need a home do not occupy the affordable housing that has been built specifically for them. According to an official census carried out in 2021, a staggering 6 million homes were found uninhabited or abandoned. The reasons for its abandonment are diverse but the consequences of this problem have caused an increase in informal self-construction, which has been recognized as the main form of house production in the country.

Today more than ever, political agendas along with social urgencies demand from the – public and private – sectors better technical support for families that lack decent housing. According to independent sources, the number of people who lack decent housing in Mexico is around 14 million. These figures put pressure on the real estate markets and urban planning authorities, as well as on the environment and biodiversity for the provision of housing, services, infrastructure and transport on a large scale.

Local traditions of building and urbanizing offer important solutions for sustainable urban development. Thanks to the rational use of natural, local and renewable materials, it is possible to construct durable and resilient buildings and places, which do not harm the ecological functions of a territory. Likewise, traditional architecture and urban design facilitate the creation of buildings and places that are comfortable, useful, beautiful, locally contextual and maintain a strong vernacular character.

Our vision

We envision creating new and attractive places where people can relate positively to their surroundings, places of wonder and beauty that reflect the local character and history, but still work well for today's technologically advanced society. We imagine places built for the present and with an eye to the future, which may last much longer than most environments that have been built recently.

Our tutors

At our summer school, top international architects and urban planners will teach our students in theoretical courses and practical design studios. Some of the best draftsmen with a deep knowledge of traditional and Classical architecture will teach students about the basic skills needed in drawing and design to become competent designers.

Student profile

The summer school is open to all kinds of people who are interested in learning traditional or Classical architecture and traditional urban design. The summer school admits people of all ages and lifestyles, gender, and identity, as well as any academic level or academic degrees. Although the majority of the content to be taught will be about architecture and urban planning, we will accept people who may not work in something related to these disciplines; The school will value individuals who are passionate about appreciating, maintaining and creating lasting, useful and beautiful places.


One of the key focuses we provide to our students is the ability to identify and create sustainable built environments. Not only energy efficiency matters, but also the use of local, high-quality materials and the durability of the urban fabric.

Attractiveness, harmony and beauty are essential factors that are unfortunately often overlooked in current school curricula. The summer school specializes in these factors, believing that the most sustainable building is one that can be transformed as many times as possible without having to be demolished.


To ameliorate gentrification it is necessary to build new neighbourhoods and towns ex nihilo. Our philosophy consists in teaching how to design attractive and beautiful neighbourhoods that are capable of inspiring and even winning over developers and politicians committed to leaving a legacy of heritage for future generations.

The increase in the price of services and income in a neighborhood demonstrates the free movement of people's preferences. However, the great changes in population coming from immigration must also reflect great the transformations in urban design and planning offices.

Cities and neighbourhoods follow stages of birth, growth and maturation. However, by neglecting architecture and urban planning, cities and neighbourhoods may experience overexpansion –horizontal and vertical– and overpopulation of people and cars; as the urban planner Léon Krier effectively demonstrates in his published works and keynote talks.


The summer school offers an attractive combination of master classes, study exercises, excursions and studio design projects. Leading architects, academics and urban planners teach courses on town planning and urban design, sustainability, Classical and traditional architecture and traditional building methods. Studio design projects offer participants the opportunity to further develop or improve their freehand drawing, measured drawing or watercolor skills.

Masterclasses, studio design projects and excursions will be put into practice on a series of assingments ranging from individual buildings to larger urban spaces. The course culminates in a final design project where participants work in groups or seperately to design and showcase new buildings or master plans for a future community.

Important information

June 24 to July 7, 2024

Deadline to apply:
May 24, 2024

Merida and Izamal, Yucatan

Total cost:  10000 Mexican pesos (590 USD)
Enrollment: 3000 Mexican pesos (180 USD)
*We can accept payments in installments of 3500 pesos (210 USD) each
For more information about payments, deadlines, or refunds, send email to:

Accomodation: included

How to apply? Send us a motivation letter of one page, at least, in length. We recommend sending us samples of handmade drawings or portfolio in pdf format to the following email address:

Other INTBAU courses:
INTBAU Mexico: Drawing workshops in Mexico City