Architecture Lab

Site Plan, Chinchero, Peru (Stella Nair)

Architecture Lab: Fowler Building, Room A332
Faculty Director: Stella Nair
Lab Coordinators: AJ Meyer and Rachel Schloss
Graduate Students: Georgi KyorlenskiAJ Meyer, Louise Deglin, Alba Menendez Pereda, Rachel Schloss, Tori Schmitt, Kevin Torres-Spicer, Amy Crum, Syon Vasquez
Undergraduate students: Elizabeth Friedman

Research Affiliates: Paul Burtenshaw, Sergio Alarcón Robledo
Alumni: Kevin Hill, C. J. Zepeda, Erica Luedtke

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Mailing address:
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
308 Charles E Young Dr N
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone (Cotsen Main office)(310) 794-4837

Mudéjar-style ceiling in the Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, Ecuador. Image credit: Kevin Torres-Spicer

Building/Mural by Freddy Mamani, El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia (2014). Photo credit Grullab.

Tenochtitlan Calmecac (institution for religious learning)

Tenochtitlan Calmecac (institution for religious learning), late 15th to early 16th century. Photograph by Anthony Meyer.

The Architecture Lab is directed by Stella Nair, Associate Professor of Indigenous Arts of the Americas in the Department of Art History. Nair was trained as an architect and architectural historian, and she specializes in the study of materials, construction technology, and spatial practices. 

Metal Tools for flattening a stone (Stella Nair)

The focus of the lab is on architectural design, construction, materials, and conservation. Gradate and undergraduate students and affiliated scholars conduct research in the facilities. Current projects include  late Imperial Inca royal estates, Mexica educational and ritual spaces, the architecture of Wari ceramic production, Ancient Egyptian monuments, Islamic design influences in colonial Ecuador, Medieval French churches, Inca adobe construction, the spatialization of Latin American murals, and community focused conservation projects.

Architecture Working Group

Also housed in the Architecture Lab, the Architecture Working Group brings together doctoral students from across campus who are working on Architectural history topics, ranging from design and construction studies, to larger critiques of the built environment across time and space. The group meets for informal discussions, lecture presentations, shared readings, and workshops. Doctoral students interested in participating should contact Rachel Schloss (Archaeology) and Syon Vasquez (Archaeology) for further information.

Collaboration with the Digital Lab

The Architecture Laboratory works closely with UCLA’s Digital Archaeology Lab and the Digital Research Consortium to share resources as well as facilitate and coordinate architectural research for members of the Cotsen community.


The Architecture Lab offers workshops on relevant topics.

Events include:

   1. The Architecture Lab collaborated with the Scholarly Innovation Lab (YRL) for a two part workshop on Architectural Drawings: A) Vectorworks B) Advanced Drawing in the Field (coming soon!).

   2. The Architecture Lab teamed up with the Institute for Digital Research and Education and the Digital Archaeology Lab to offer a 2-day workshop on ArcGIS for Archaeologists (Day 1 and Day 2 along with a 3D component).


Kanaraqay, Peru panorama

Kañaraqay, Peru (Georgi Kyorlenski)

Sergio Alarcón Robledo conducting an experiment on the mechanical properties of mud bricks built with different recipes.