From Bogotá to Bombay: How the World’s ‘Village-Cities’ Facilitate Change

“Village-cities,” Usme - Bogotá, Colombia. Image © Laura Amaya

Perched behind the fog that conceals Bogotá’s mountains is William Oquendo’s house. It is a labyrinth of doors and windows, wherein a bedroom opens into the kitchen and a bathroom vents out into the living room.

Five thousand 5,000 kilometers away in Rio de Janeiro, Gilson Fumaça lives on the terrace level of a three-story house built by his grandfather, his father, and now himself. It’s sturdy; made out of brick and mortar on the ground floor, concrete on the second, and a haphazard combination of zinc roof tiles and loose bricks on the third. The last is Gilson’s contribution, which he will improve as his income level rises.

On the other side of the world in Bombay (Mumbai since 1995), houses encroach on the railway tracks, built and rebuilt after innumerable demolition efforts. “The physical landscape of the city is in perpetual motion,” Suketu Mehta observes in ‘Maximum City.’ Shacks are built out of bamboo sticks and plastic bags; families live on sidewalks and under flyovers in precarious homes constructed with their hands. And while Dharavi—reportedly the largest slum in Asia—has better quality housing, running water, electricity and secure land tenure, this is not the case for most of the new migrants into the city.

Saraiva Bookstore / Studio Arthur Casas

© Fernando Guerra |

Architects: Studio Arthur Casas
Location: de Janeiro – State of de Janeiro, Brazil
Architect In Charge: Arthur Casas
Co Authors: Christiane Trolesi, Mônica Nickel, Marcela Muniz, Renata Adoni.
Collaborators: André Chung, Christiana Matos
Area: 2000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Urca Apartment / Studio Arthur Casas

© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

Architects: Studio Arthur Casas
Location: , Brazil
Architect In Charge: Arthur Casas
Design Team: Milena Chieco, Flávia Castellan, Flávia Castellan, Joana Pini, Renata Adoni, Bruna Rizzi
Area: 667.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

Uruguai Station / JBMC ARCHITECTS

© Nelson Kon

Architects: JBMC ARCHITECTS
Location: Tijuca, de Janeiro – de Janeiro,
Jbmc Architects: Beatriz Pimenta Corrêa, Cecilia Pires, Cynthia Melo, Emiliano Homrich, Frederico Freitas, Gabriela Assis, João Batista Martinez Corrêa, Pedro Câmara and Sandra Morikawa
Jbmc : Caio D´Alfonso, Carina Oshita, Diogo Luz, Mariana Nito, Nara Borges and Raffaella Yacar
Area: 13774.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Nelson Kon

Rio de Janeiro selected to host UIA 2020 World Congress of Architects

Courtesy of 2020rio.org

Rio de Janeiro has been selected to host World Congress of Architects UIA 2020, one of the world’s most important architecture forums. The news was announced yesterday by one of the UIA’s former presidents and current Secretary of the Session, Vassils Sgoutas, during the General Assembly of this year’s congress in Durban, South Africa. Rio’s application was spearheaded by Brazil’s most important architecture institution – Instituto de Arquitetos do (IAB). The South American city beat out two strong candidates: Melbourne and Paris.

After the presentations of the three candidate cities, two rounds of voting began. In the first round Rio got 85 votes, against Melbourne’s 73 votes and Paris’ 44 votes. In the second round Rio beat Melbourne with 107 votes against 95. 

Case Study: The Unspoken Rules of Favela Construction

© Solène Veysseyre

“Building a house takes time and money,“ said Marcio, a local resident of Complexo do Alemão, one of de Janeiro’s numerous favelas, as he showed me around his house. This is why a house is often built over several generations: a floor may be laid, columns erected (rebar protruding), and a thin tin roof placed, but this is just to mark where the next builder should finish the job. “Constructing a roof with tiles is not a sign of wealth here — rather, it means that there’s not enough money to continue constructing the house,” explains Manoe Ruhe, a Dutch urban planner who has lived in the for the last six months.

An architect who has always been fascinated by the way people live, I had come to do a residency at Barraco # 55, a cultural center in Complexo do Alemão, in order to learn how its citizens went about building their communities. I had many questions: are there rules of construction? What are the common characteristics of each house? Do they follow the same typology? How are the interiors of the homes? What construction techniques and what materials are used?

Linx Hotel International Airport Galeão / OSPA Arquitetura e Urbanismo

© Marcelo Donadussi

Architects: OSPA Arquitetura e Urbanismo
Location: ,
Project Architects: Carolina Souza Pinto, Lucas Obino, Cristiano Selbach Carneiro
Project Team: André Fauri, Carlota Vázquez, Erika Hartmann, Franco Miotto, Gelson Saldanha, Louise Serraglio, Luísa Dornelles, Roberto Flores, Stefânia Pilz
Project Area: 7,528 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Marcelo Donadussi

Maracanã Stadium Roof Structure / schlaich bergermann und partner

© schlaich bergermann und partner, Marcus Bredt

Engineers: schlaich bergermann und partner
Location: Maracanã Stadium – Maracanã, – RJ, 20271-150
Area: 45700.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: schlaich bergermann und partner, Marcus Bredt

KREOD to Construct International Trade Pavilion for Rio Olympics

© KREOD Architecture

Chun Qing Li, founder director of London-based KREOD, has revealed planes for a 1,200 square meter international trade pavilion for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Floating on a platform in the Barra de Tijuca lagoon, adjacent to Olympic Park, the pavilion is expected to bring together entrepreneurs and industry leaders from , the United Kingdom and China to discuss future of business and showcase their products.

Rio to Host TEDGlobal 2014

Courtesy of

The world is experiencing exponential growth and de Janeiro, a true megalopolis of six million people, is a prime example. Thus, TEDGlobal 2014 has announced they will be “setting up shop” in Rio’s Copacabana Beach theater in the search to find “fresh thinking” in emerging geographies.

More than 40 speakers and performers have confirmed their attendance, each focusing on the “many facets of the Global South’s rise in influence and power” and relevant new stories from around the world.

Register here and continue after the break for complete list of confirmed speakers and Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes’ TED Talk “Four commandments of cities”…

Void General Store / Tavares Duayer Arquitetura

© João Duayer

Architects: Tavares Duayer Arquitetura
Location: Leblon, , Brazil
Area: 21 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: João Duayer

SESC Barra Secondary School / Indio da Costa Arquitetura

© Pedro Kok

Architects: Indio da Costa Arquitetura
Location: de Janeiro,
Project Architect: Luiz Eduardo Indio da Costa
Co Authors: Claudia Amorim, Carlota Sampaio, Lourenço Gimenez
Project Area: 55,000 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Pedro Kok, Cesar Duarte

Humanidade Pavillion 2012 / Carla Juaçaba + Bia Lessa

© Leonardo Finotti

Architects: Carla Juaçaba +
Location: Fort Copacabana, Copacabana, de Janeiro, Brasil
Project Direction: Bia Lessa
Team: Antonio Pedro Coutinho, Pedro Varella, Sergio García–Gasco Lominchar, Elza Burgos de La Prida, Argus Caruso
Trainees: Daniel Cuchicho / Rita D’aguilar, Barbara Cutlak e Alvaro Pitas
Year: 2012
Photographs: Leonardo Finotti, Courtesy of Carla Juaçaba + Bia Lessa

House Varanda / Carla Juaçaba

© Fran Parente

Architects: Carla Juaçaba
Location: Barra da Tijuca, ,
Area: 140 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Fran Parente

Latin America’s Top 8 Smart Cities

Santiago, Chile took the top spot on the list. Image Courtesy of Plataforma Urbana

In this article for Fast Company, Boyd Cohen counts down the top 8 smart cities in Latin America. Using publicly available data and his own comprehensive framework to evaluate how smart a city is, he has generated a list which even he admits features a couple of surprises in the top spots. To see the list and discover what each city has achieved to deserve its ranking, you can read the full article here.

Cidade Das Artes / Christian de Portzamparc

© Nelson Kon

Architects: Christian de Portzamparc
Location: ,
Area: 46000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nelson Kon, Courtesy of Christian de Portzamparc

Jornalista Mário Filho Stadium – Maracanã / Fernandes Arquitetos Associados

© Erica Ramalho

Architects: Fernandes Arquitetos Associados
Location: Maracanã – Rua Professor Eurico Rabelo, Maracanã, , 20271-150, Brasil
Architect In Charge: Daniel Hopf Fernandes
Year: 2013
Photographs: Erica Ramalho, Courtesy of , Marcelo Santos

A Kickstarter Campaign to Paint Entire Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Painting: Rio Cruzeiro, realized in 2008. Image Courtesy of Painting’s Page

Dutch duo Haas and Hahn gained fame in 2005 for painting a few houses of Rio Janeiro’s favelas in a palate of bright hues. Now they’re back again, this time with a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds to paint the rest of the favela in the hopes of further transforming this crime-ridden community.