The contact between hands and models should never be lost. Going into this experience provokes silence, forcing us to think about the care that goes into concrete models. Few words are needed, as models often tell us everything we need to know through the beauty and simplicity that goes into their creation and the importance of the manual process in an architect's work.
Warning: this article proposes a narrative according to the route taken from one side to the other of the wall, from the predictable to the most unpredictable. To better situate ourselves, the narrative will be told through my personal experience.
"Do you know the wall that divides the rich from the poor?," asked three Greek travelers who, after visiting the "pretty" side of Lima, suspected that something was hiding behind appearances. But, "how is it that from, even though you're from the other side of the world, you knew about the wall?" Well, news travels. And "why is this wall something that has to be seen in our city?" if it's not a cause for pride. I knew exactly what they were talking about. I spelled it out: the wall of shame. Certainly, I wasn't familiar with it in situ either, since I hadn't left my urban bubble, like many of those who live in these parts, so with the same curiosity, as a tourist of my own city, we made our way.
Building and growing are two actions that should be considered more often than not at the same time. This is how the 2017 "Build to Grow" social housing competition, looked to establish bases that sustain a flexible way of living. The event took place in the Belén district in the city of Iquitos, on 3.7 hectares plot of land. The project that received first place proposed to locate 120 incremental homes, that alternatively allowed users to modify and expand it according to their needs and economic means. In short, a home with a solid nucleus formed by a structure that supports changing activities.
The architectural model: a tool, a sculptural artifact, a prized possession, and yet in the digital age of BIM and Virtual Reality, perhaps becoming an enigma, a relic for settling dust. And yet, we are still making them. If you imagine that famous photo of earth from space, of every model ever made in a single image, it raises the question - where are they all? Where does the architectural model go to die?
In Peru, you can not live without not knowing about or learning the lessons of the thousand-year-old architectural legacy of some of its many archaeological sites (19,903 to be exact). These places are full of inspiration, art, history, legends, and magic. Their stories are closely tied to their architecture and the ruins that hold mysteries that perhaps leave us with more questions than answers. But the sites' power to amaze us is something that every architect will appreciate.
This small list—rather than an invitation— is a provocation for the senses that lie within the architect-traveler’s soul.
Historical preservation and integration with nature, two crucial themes in the development of the Peruvian structure whose territory is a synthesis of historical landscapes. The winning project of the “Ideas de Arquitectura” contest in Machu Picchu National Archaeological Park (Cusco) not only achieves both themes but also weaves and customizes them. The project mimics the architectural tradition of the place while bringing its own contemporary language. It creates bridges of new relations while respecting the preexisting ones, in continuation with the nature of the place, harmony between nature and history. And of course, it invites visitors to be part of this experience.
Learn more details about this project and its approach to what has been the development of landscape of its masterplan that was made for the Archaeological Park.