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Belén Maiztegui

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Architecture on Mars: Projects for Life on the Red Planet

Martian Seed of Life / Warith Zaki + Amir Amzar. Image © Karim Moussa, Warith Zaki, Amir Amzar, Nasril ZarudinMars Colonization / ZA Architects. Image © ZA ArchitectsMarsha / AI Space Factory. Image © AI SpaceFactory and PlompIce House / Clouds AO + SEArch . Image © Clouds AO y SEArch+ 15

February 2021 has been a historical month for Mars exploration. While humans have been exploring the red planet for well over 50 years, first landing on its surface in 1971 and then launching the first successful rover in 1997, this year has seen several firsts, namely the first time that three countries (China, United States, and the UAE) have launched three simultaneous probes.

Architecture in the United States Designed by Latin American Architects

Rafael Viñoly / Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Image © Groupe Canam [Wikimedia] Bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
Rafael Viñoly / Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Image © Groupe Canam [Wikimedia] Bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

Globalization and its pension for both virtual and physical connectivity has led to the linking of the world's economies, territories, and cultures and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of architecture.

Carmen Espegel: "The History of Modern Movement Must Be Reread, It Still Contains Hidden Information"

Spanish architect, Carmen Espegel's work is embodied in three complementary areas: academic, research, and professional activity. Espegel was part of espegel-fisac arquitectos studio for twenty years as a founding partner and currently leads espegel arquitectos. Her research approach has focused mainly on housing, women in architecture, and architectural criticism.

Glass Bricks in Argentine Houses: Achieving Natural Light and Privacy with Translucent Blocks

House Luisina / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando SchapochnikHouse with Bricks / Martín Aloras. Image © Walter SalcedoAYYA House / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego MedinaHouse 47 / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik+ 10

When designing a space, architects across the board tout the importance, and even necessity, of incorporating natural light into interiors. This means taking measures to control the quantity of light being let in and its distribution throughout the space.

In the case of residential spaces, where privacy plays a larger role than in public spaces like offices, restaurants, and stores, opaque materials like screens, tinted glass, and other barriers are the go-tos for providing protection and privacy from the outside; however, the privacy that these methods provide often comes at the cost of the space's natural lighting, forcing designers to seek alternative materials that allow for both light and privacy.

Split-Level Argentine Houses: Using Height to Separate Spaces

Pedroso House / BAK Arquitectos. Image © Gustavo Sosa PinillaIA House / alarciaferrer arquitectos. Image © Emilia Sierra Guzman© Emilia Sierra GuzmanCJP House / ONA - Oficina Nómada de Arquitectura. Image © Arq. Luis Abba+ 22

In architecture, split-level houses are typically in response to a plot's uneven or sloping topography. In the case of the houses featured here, their split level interiors are a matter of function, allowing spaces to be virtually separated by dividing them between raised and semi-subterranean floor layouts. For example, adjoining two spaces with a 50cm step up or drop off allows for separation without the use of walls or other physical barriers. 

Beersheba: Brutalist Architecture in the Middle of the Desert

Negev Brigade Monument - Dani Karavan (1963-1968). Image © Stefano Perego
Negev Brigade Monument - Dani Karavan (1963-1968). Image © Stefano Perego

Humanities and Social Sciences Building Ben-Gurion University of Negev - Rafi Reifer, Amnon Niv and Natan Magen (1968-1971). Image © Stefano PeregoCentral Synagogue - Nahum Zolotov (1980). Image © Stefano PeregoOrot Cinema - Zeev Rechter (1963). Image © Stefano PeregoResidential Building - Meir Cecik and Bitosh Comforti (60s). Image © Stefano Perego+ 16

Located 108 kilometers to the south of Tel Aviv, Beersheba (Be'er Sheva) is one of Israel's oldest cities. Although in existence since biblical times, military campaigns and occupations have seen it destroyed and rebuilt throughout the centuries, resulting in the juxtaposition of various time periods and cultures that can be seen throughout the city. One of Beersheba's principal transformations happened during the population boom of the 1950s sparked by the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. To keep up with the need for housing, the government rebuilt and expanded the city, which soon transformed from a small military outpost of 4,000 people to a vibrant urban center in the middle of the Negev Desert.

Bio-climatic Fixtures in Buenos Aires' Houses as Seen In Floor Plans and Layout

House N / Estudio GM ARQ. Image Golf House / BAM! arquitectura. Image AC House / Estudio GM ARQ. Image PYE House / BAM! arquitectura. Image + 20

The principles of bio-climatic architecture, when applied with an understanding of the surrounding climate and geography, can simultaneously increase a building's efficiency and create a more comfortable living space. Passive measures like solar panels, rainwater and grey water harvesting, openings for natural light, and cross-ventilation are all low-cost, high yield methods of increasing a home's thermal comfort and efficiency and decreasing its carbon footprint.

Transforming Factories into Living Spaces: The Changing Face of Spain's Industrial Architecture

Casa Rec / Guallart Architects. Image Cortesía de Guallart Architects
Casa Rec / Guallart Architects. Image Cortesía de Guallart Architects

La Nave / Nomos. Image Renovation of an Industrial Building into a Single Family House / Guim Costa Calsamiglia. Image The Factory / Ricardo Bofill. Image Dirk and the Chocolate Factory / Anna & Eugeni Bach. Image + 21

The progressive departure of factories from cities, often due to environmental regulations, noise ordinances, or the price of real estate, has left many urban manufacturing facilities abandoned and out of use. As these urban factories are left empty, many adventurous developers are taking advantage of the plentiful space, light, and flexible functions that they offer, leading to a residential revitalization in many of the world's defunct manufacturing facilities.   

OMA, MVRDV and Heatherwick Among Finalists to Transform Azca Financial District in Madrid

The RENAZCA international competition has released a shortlist for the design of the financial district of Azca in Madrid, Spain, according to El Pais. Directed by IE School of Architecture and Design Martha Thorne and Edgar González, the competition aims to transform the district into the most important economic and cultural node in the Spanish capital. The winning team will be chosen at the end of January 2021 and will have the task of transforming the sector into a "new, open, sustainable urban space connected to the city."

Traditional Solutions, Modern Projects: Wooden Screens for Sun Protection and Ventilation

Throughout history, sunshades--light-weight screens typically made of interwoven wooden reeds--have been the go-to method of sun protection and temperature control for dwellings across civilizations, especially those located in tropical and Mediterranean climates. While offering protection from the sun's heat and rays, sunshades also allow air to permeate, making them an effective and economical cooling system for interior spaces. 

Courtyards in Peruvian Houses: 10 Projects and their Floor Plans

Casa Gato / Martin Dulanto. Image M+L House / Domenack Arquitectos. Image Cachalotes House / Oscar Gonzalez Moix. Image Casa Patios / Riofrio+Rodrigo Arquitectos. Image + 21

With the exception of some areas, within the three principal regions of Peru--coastal, mountain, and rainforest--the climate is characterized as tropical or subtropical and the differences in summer and winter temperatures is minimal, rarely reaching beyond 15 °C and 27 °C. This mild climate has thinned the line between exterior and interior spaces, a fact evident in the region's architecture. 

Exposed Concrete Apartments in Argentina

Boreas Building / Martín Aloras. Image © Walter SalcedoPueyrredón 1101 / Estudio Pablo Gagliardo. Image © Ramiro SosaLagos Building / Estudio Aire. Image © Walter Salcedo3DF / R2b1. Image © Javier Agustín Rojas+ 11

It's safe to say that concrete is one of the most utilized construction materials in large-scale architectural projects. In Argentina, the use of concrete to construct high-rise apartment buildings offers a variety of advantages, especially when it comes to durability and the time it takes to build. This has made it the go-to material for many architects.

Patagonian Houses: A Visual Registry of Traditional Houses in the Far South of Argentina

© Thibaud Poirier© Thibaud Poirier© Thibaud Poirier© Thibaud Poirier+ 13

Argentina's Patagonia region is a vast swath of land that spans the provinces of Chubut, Neuquén, Río Negro, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, and even parts of La Pampa, Mendoza, and Buenos Aires. Although it is the largest region within the country, it is also the least populated and, therefore, markedly rural and isolated. This isolation forms the basis for Thibaud Poirier 's “Houses of Patagonia”, where he offers a visual registry of the houses found throughout the region in an attempt to capture the similarities that define the region's architectural style.

Houses in Ecuador: 10 Homes Designed Around Courtyards

Quinta López Cordero / Astudillo + Proaño. Image House Among Trees / El Sindicato Arquitectura. Image Loma House / Iván Quizhpe Arquitectos. Image House in La Marca / Marco Salazar Valle. Image + 21

Inner courtyards and gardens can provide many benefits, such as natural light, better ventilation, and increased contact with nature without losing privacy. 

Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars in Argentina: 20 Projects and Their Floor Plans

Restaurante Siamo / Estudio Montevideo + Pablo Dellatorre. Image © Gonzalo Viramonte
Restaurante Siamo / Estudio Montevideo + Pablo Dellatorre. Image © Gonzalo Viramonte

klix / Agostina Gennaro + Soledad Rami + Victoria Pavoni. Image Capitán Central Cervecera / Guillermo Cacciavillani.Bar Makers. Image BLACK PAN / Belén Quiroga + Grazia Pierini. Image Cervecería Antares / Estudio Juan Ballester + grupo cuatro. Image + 41

When it comes to designing commercial gastromic spaces, aspects like space efficiency, equipment distribution, materials, and organization are essential when considering the users' experience within the space.