Location of University City of Caracas in Venezuela.
The University City of Caracas (Spanish: Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas) is the main Campus of the Central University of Venezuela. It was designed by the Venezuelan architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. The Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas is considered a masterpiece of architecture and urban planning and is the only university campus designed by a single architect in the 20th century that has received such recognition by UNESCO.
The Campus and buildings of the Universidad Central de Venezuela are considered to be Villanueva's masterwork. Built on the site of the old Hacienda Ibarra (which originally belonged to Simon Bolívar's family) and connected to the new city center around Plaza Venezuela, the project required a massive undertaking of both urban planning and architectural design. The administration of President Isaías Medina Angarita bought the Hacienda Ibarra in 1942 in order to give the University a larger location than the Saint Francis Covent, giving Villanueva a unique opportunity to apply his conscious integration of art and architecture on a grand scale. This vast urban complex of about 2 km² included a total of forty buildings and it became one of the most successful applications of Modern Architecture in Latin America. Villanueva worked closely with all the artists who contributed with their oeuvres and personally supervised the project for over 25 years until the late 1960s when his deteriorating health forced him to leave some buildings in the design stage.