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Mónica Arellano

Content Editor at ArchDaily Mexico. Architect by UNAM (2018). Her interests focus on exploring the relationship of the body with architecture through dance. She has collaborated with different international choreographers who explore dance and architecture as an event. Twitter / Instagram: @monicarellano_

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15 Mexican Projects that Use Terraces as Design Elements

04:00 - 22 January, 2019

15 Mexican Projects that Use Terraces as Design Elements 15 Mexican Projects that Use Terraces as Design Elements 15 Mexican Projects that Use Terraces as Design Elements 15 Mexican Projects that Use Terraces as Design Elements + 19

One of the most important factors when designing is the specific climate of the site. This can often present challenges when dealing with extreme climates and it is necessary to use insulating materials that adapt to changing conditions. However, Mexico and its privileged climate can be in an architect's favor. Here, architects can create microclimates and spaces that blur the transition of inside and outside.

Let's Taco 'Bout Taqueria Architecture

04:00 - 21 December, 2018
Let's Taco 'Bout Taqueria Architecture , Torchy’s Tacos / Chioco Design. Image © Patrick Y. Wong
Torchy’s Tacos / Chioco Design. Image © Patrick Y. Wong

Buena Onda / CORE architecture + design. Image © Michael Moran Sierra Madre Taquería / Erbalunga estudio. Image © Iván Casal Nieto Paco’s Tacos / Techné Architecture + Interior Design. Image Cortesía de Techné Architecture + Interior Design Restaurant El Califa / Esrawe Studio. Image © Camila Cossío + 9

A quintessential characteristic of Mexican culture — in addition to its architecture and rich pre-Colombian identity — is its gastronomy. In 2010, UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list inscribed Mexican Traditional Cuisine. The foundation remarked that "their knowledge and techniques express community identity, reinforce social bonds, and build stronger local, regional and national identities." However, from Mole to Birria and Pozole to Cochinita Pibil, the most iconic, versatile, and tasty meal is the taco.

In honor of Mexico's rich history, tradition, and food, take a look at 7 taquerias that can inspire your next project. 

30 Years After Luis Barragán: 30 Architects Share Their Favorite Works

06:00 - 9 December, 2018
30 Years After Luis Barragán: 30 Architects Share Their Favorite Works, Los Clubes - Cuadra San Cristóbal y Fuente de los Amantes / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores
Los Clubes - Cuadra San Cristóbal y Fuente de los Amantes / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Torres de Satélite / Luis Barragán + Mathias Goeritz. Image © Rodrigo Flores Casa Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores Casa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque Casa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque + 16

On November 22, 1988, one of the most important and revered figures in the history of Mexican and international architecture died in Mexico City. Luis Barragán Morfín, born in Guadalajara and trained as a civil engineer left behind an extensive legacy of published works, conferences, buildings, houses, and gardens that remain relevant to this day. While Barragán was known for his far-reaching research in customs and traditions, above all, the architect spent his life in contemplation. His sensitivity to the world and continued effort to rewrite the mundane has made him a lasting figure in Mexico, and the world.

Undoubtedly, Luis Barragán's legacy represents something so complex and timeless that it continues to inspire and surprise architects across generations. It is because of this that, 30 years after his death, we've compiled this series of testimonies from some of Mexico's most prominent contemporary architects, allowing them to reflect on their favorites of Barragan's works and share just how his work has impacted and inspired theirs. 

Urban Sketchers Mexico Pays Tribute to Pedro Ramírez Vázquez

12:00 - 8 December, 2018
Urban Sketchers Mexico Pays Tribute to Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Isaac Cruz (@el_probador_de_bancas). Technique: Watercolor. Image © Urban Sketchers
Isaac Cruz (@el_probador_de_bancas). Technique: Watercolor. Image © Urban Sketchers

Brian Luna (@brianmaldad). Technique: Watercolor. Image © Urban Sketchers Brian Luna (@brianmaldad). Technique: Pen. Image © Urban Sketchers Julio (@esemijuls). Technique: Watercolor. Image © Urban Sketchers Ivan Reyes (@montesdeoca_pablo). Technique: Watercolor. Image © Urban Sketchers + 23

Urban Sketchers is an international non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a global community of artists who practice on-site drawings to enhance the artistic, narrative, and educational value of drawing. Connecting people from all over the world, the organization brings people in touch with their environment to illustrate drawings of their lived experiences. 

A Guide to Contemporary Architecture in Cuernavaca, Mexico

06:00 - 2 December, 2018
A Guide to Contemporary Architecture in Cuernavaca, Mexico, © Jaime Navarro
© Jaime Navarro

Cuernavaca, located just a few hours from Mexico City, is one of the most visited places in the country thanks to its history, weather, and architecture. The city has eleven declared historical sites, such as the Cortés Palace, the Cuernavaca Cathedral, the Borda Garden, the Calvario Spire, Teopanzolco, Chapultepec Nature Park, the Cuernavaca Kite, and the Hotel Casino de la Selva, among others. For the past few years, Cuernavaca has experienced a boom in contemporary architecture, starting with the Tallera building which was built in 2010 by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo. The project gave life to the Siqueiros murals and all the history behind them.

© Rodrigo Flores © Rodrigo Flores © Rodrigo Flores © Rodrigo Flores + 44

Architecture Guide: Luis Barragán

04:00 - 28 November, 2018
Architecture Guide: Luis Barragán, Flickr: LrBln. Used under Creative Commons
Flickr: LrBln. Used under Creative Commons

Casa Estudio / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores Torres de Satélite / Mathias Goeritz + Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores © Rodrigo Flores Casa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque + 11

Community Central Pavilion: A Momentary Structure to Collect Seismic Waves in Mexico

12:00 - 24 November, 2018
Community Central Pavilion: A Momentary Structure to Collect Seismic Waves in Mexico, © Alberto Odériz
© Alberto Odériz

© Alberto Odériz © Alberto Odériz © Alberto Odériz © Alberto Odériz + 38

'Central Community Pavilion' was a response to an invitation to design a variety of temporary pavilions by different creators as a part of Arch Days CDMX and Design Week 2018. For the occasion, three up-and-coming architectural firms have joined forces to design and construct a single pavilion with a common theme. The design process between TO Arquitectura, LANZA Atelier, and Alberto Odériz reinforced the idea of a generation plagued with a certain collective curiosity and concern.

8 Mexican Projects That Use Bamboo

05:00 - 16 November, 2018
8 Mexican Projects That Use Bamboo, Pórtico Palmeto Building / TACO taller de arquitectura contextual. Image © Leo Espinosa
Pórtico Palmeto Building / TACO taller de arquitectura contextual. Image © Leo Espinosa

In 4 Days, 100 Volunteers Used Mud and Reeds To Build This Community Center in Mexico. Image © Pedro Bravo, Sofía Hernández, Francisco Martínez Cafetería Rural Comunitaria Tosepan Kajfen / Proyecto cafeína + Komoni. Image © Patrick López Rural House in Puebla / Comunal Taller de Arquitectura. Image © Onnis Luque Sport City Oaxaca / Rootstudio + Arquitectos Artesanos. Image © Angel Ivan Valdivia Salazar + 9

Mexico is a country known globally for its traditional and contemporary architectural elements. The construction techniques characteristic of each region and the use of materials according to thermic, economic, or aesthetic needs result in unique spaces.

Bamboo as a constructive or decorative element, coating, facade, or roof has proven its superiority over materials such as plastic and steel.

While it is true that research on this material has advanced significantly in recent years, we know that there is still much to learn. Many architects are seeking knowledge from the past to apply to their current techniques. Below, we've selected a list of 8 Mexican projects that explore the use of bamboo in the hands of architects and artisans.

Broissin Arquitectos Reinterprets the Tree House in Glass

05:00 - 9 November, 2018
Broissin Arquitectos Reinterprets the Tree House in Glass, © Alexander D'La Roche
© Alexander D'La Roche

© Alexander D'La Roche © Alexander D'La Roche © Alexander D'La Roche © Alexander D'La Roche + 16

Design House, which is held annually within the framework of Design Week Mexico, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. In this year's edition, 24 local designers and architects transformed an abandoned home, each restoring a room or outdoor area. One of these interventions, by Broissin Architects, reconstructed the outdoor patio into a micro-forest with the small, glass house placed on a centenary ash tree.

Alberto Kalach: 'We Have Been Deforesting for Hundreds of Years & We Have Not Given Ourselves the Task of Recovering It'

05:00 - 8 November, 2018
Alberto Kalach: 'We Have Been Deforesting for Hundreds of Years & We Have Not Given Ourselves the Task of Recovering It'

Alberto Kalach is a Mexican architect whose career has focused on creating site-specific works that blend into the natural environment. In his most recent exhibition in Mexico City, Territories and Housing, Kalach shows a series of drawings that highlight his concern for the environment. In these drawings, we can see a master plan that proposes ways of living with an environmental conscience.

Foster + Partners and FR-EE's Mexico City Airport Cancelled Following Public Vote

14:30 - 29 October, 2018
Foster + Partners and FR-EE's Mexico City Airport Cancelled Following Public Vote, via aeropuerto.gob.mx
via aeropuerto.gob.mx

Following his election a few months ago, the current president-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that a referendum would be held to determine whether or not the government should proceed with the Foster + Partners and FR-EE's proposed 13 billion dollar project for the International Airport of the Mexico City.

Making good on his campaign promise, a public vote on the project's fate was held from 25-28 October, asking citizens to answer the following question: Given the saturation of the International Airport of Mexico City, which option do you think will be best for the country? The two options given to voters were:

  1. "Recondition the current airport in Mexico City, Toluca and build two runways at the Santa Lucia Air Base" 
  2. "Continue with the construction of the new airport in Texcoco and cease operations of the current International Airport of Mexico City."

Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Proposes a New Design for Mexico's Querétaro Cathedral

05:00 - 26 October, 2018
Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Proposes a New Design for Mexico's Querétaro Cathedral, Interior frontal view. Render by © Angel Segovia. Image © Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
Interior frontal view. Render by © Angel Segovia. Image © Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

Exterior view at night. Render by © Ignacio Herrera. Image © Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Exterior view of the Atrium. Render by © Ignacio Herrera. Image © Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos © Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Frontal view of the project. Render by © Ignacio Herrera. Image © Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos + 16

In response to calls for a larger space, the Santiago Apostle Cathedral is the proposed home for the Queretaro Diocese. The proposed building lies on a 20,000 square meter plot of land on the city's south central side. The project aims to turn the building into not only a new religious and community space, but also an architectural icon for the city.

The project's design is based on a guiding axis that points towards the rising sun. The nave's geometry begins in the circle and then spreads throughout the structure from the principal entrance all the way towards the altar. The cathedral's roof is made up of a grand staircase that also houses a reflection pool. 

Teopanzolco Cultural Center by Isaac Broid + PRODUCTORA Wins the Oscar Niemeyer Award

11:30 - 24 October, 2018
Teopanzolco Cultural Center by Isaac Broid + PRODUCTORA Wins the Oscar Niemeyer Award, © Jaime Navarro
© Jaime Navarro

© Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro © Jaime Navarro + 5

The Oscar Niemeyer Award for Latin American Architecture is a renowned initiative by the Latin American Architecture Biennial Network (REDBAAL). This award recognizes the best architectural production, unquestionable empowerment, and presence of Latin American architecture in the international context.

The Ruins of Tijuana's Housing Crisis

04:00 - 22 October, 2018
© Mónica Arreola
© Mónica Arreola

© Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola © Mónica Arreola + 7

Tijuana is one of the most populated cities in Mexico. In 2000, the construction of collective housing boomed. This phenomenon completely transformed the limits of the city; the periphery exhibited a new appearance: a modernized future, new urban schemes, and a new lifestyle.

The Go-To Guide for Bamboo Construction

04:00 - 19 October, 2018
The Go-To Guide for Bamboo Construction, © Lucila Aguilar
© Lucila Aguilar

© Lucila Aguilar © Lucila Aguilar © Lucila Aguilar © Lucila Aguilar + 8

Bamboo is an ancient building material that has been used in a variety of countries and building types. A sustainable material with a unique aesthetic, it is arguably one of the greatest architectural trends of the moment.

This material's structural and sustainable qualities demonstrate that bamboo can be three times more resistant than steel and grow about 4 feet (1.22 meter) in just one day.

This Company Designed a House Out of Seaweed with 50% Fewer Resources Than the Average Social Housing Project

04:00 - 1 October, 2018
This Company Designed a House Out of Seaweed with 50% Fewer Resources Than the Average Social Housing Project, © Pilar Rodriguez Rascon
© Pilar Rodriguez Rascon

© Omar Vázquez Sánchez © Víctor Hugo Acevedo © Víctor Hugo Acevedo © Víctor Hugo Acevedo + 12

Over the past few months, Quintana Roo's coast has been overtaken by an invasion of seaweed that has put the locals to work cleaning up the beaches as the weeds wash ashore. The work is an exhausting day-to-day ordeal and while the cause of the invasion is still unknown, many point to the changes in climate impacting the Atlantic Ocean. 

Currently, over 60 tons of seaweed has been gathered from the coast and locals are already putting the plants to good use as raw materials for biodigestors, cosmetics, plastics, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals. However, another use for seaweed has recently come to the public's attention. 

FILMATICA: The Mexican Studio that Explores Architecture and Cinematography

16:00 - 30 September, 2018

FILMATICA: The Mexican Studio that Explores Architecture and Cinematography FILMATICA: The Mexican Studio that Explores Architecture and Cinematography FILMATICA: The Mexican Studio that Explores Architecture and Cinematography FILMATICA: The Mexican Studio that Explores Architecture and Cinematography + 15

Founded by Juan Benavides in 2014, FILMATICA is an architectural film studio dedicated to making videos with a curatorial focus. The selection of projects is carried out in order to empathize with the formal interests of the studio, responding to aesthetic spatial conditions surrounded by powerful landscapes. With this in mind, FILMATICA makes a series of narratives that highlight architecture, time, movement, and our journey through the world. Below, a compilation of videos of contemporary architectural works narrated through the lens of Juan Benavides and the FILMATICA team.

16 Mexican Projects That Use Wood in Wondrous Ways

06:00 - 28 September, 2018
16 Mexican Projects That Use Wood in Wondrous Ways, Galería IK LAB / Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel. Image Cortesía de IK LAB
Galería IK LAB / Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel. Image Cortesía de IK LAB

BRUMA Winery / TAC Taller de Arquitectura Contextual. Image © Miguel Ángel Mayoral Rodríguez Casa Media Perra / Santos Bolívar. Image © Humberto Romero Treehouse Suite / Deture Culsign, Architecture+Interiors. Image © The Cubic Studio Departamentos Artia / AS Arquitectura + CO-LAB Design Office. Image © Onnis Luque + 19

Wood has been an indispensable material in the history of civilization. Different regions from around the world have used it for specific climatic conditions. Mexico, as we have mentioned on several occasions, is an extensive country where different climates, resources and ways of life fit. Therefore the application of wood in architecture has been developed in a number of ways, from its structural use to produce roofs for Mayan huts to projects that seek to revive vernacular architecture.

While the handling of this material is difficult due to its specific detail management, it presents a multitude of benefits from its aesthetic appeal, air circulation, and even smell. Take a look at 16 Mexican projects that use wood in wondrous ways.