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Nicolas Valencia

Editorial Data & Content Manager at Archdaily | @nicolasvalencia.cl

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Run, Jump, Hide and Slide on ELEMENTAL's Newly Designed Urban Children's Game

06:00 - 18 January, 2018
Run, Jump, Hide and Slide on ELEMENTAL's Newly Designed Urban Children's Game, La Serpentina en el Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, Chile. Image Cortesía de ELEMENTAL
La Serpentina en el Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, Chile. Image Cortesía de ELEMENTAL

A new children’s urban playground has captured the attention and energy of children of all ages in the center of Valparaíso’s Cultural Park (Chile). The metallic structure is 40 meters long and has a colorful undulating path where children can run, jump, hide and slide.

La Serpentina is one of the public space projects designed by ELEMENTAL (Alejandro Aravena). It was built for Somos Choapa in Chile and is currently in Valparaíso as part of the XX Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile.

La Serpentina follows a similar design to the equipment at the Bicentenary Children’s Park (2012) in Santiago. La Serpentina is one of two interventions entered by Somos Choapa in the Biennial. The second project is a prototype with a series of touch screens installed in the main area of the Cultural Park of Valparaíso, accounting for over 100 concrete initiatives of the project.

10 Architects to Design Chapels for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

14:00 - 16 January, 2018
10 Architects to Design Chapels for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/5115399433/'>Dennis Jarvis [Flickr]</a>, bajo licencia <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. ImageBasílica papal de San Pedro, El Vaticano
© Dennis Jarvis [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-SA 2.0. ImageBasílica papal de San Pedro, El Vaticano

In 2018 the Vatican will participate in the Venice Architecture Biennale for the first time. Ten international architects will construct 10 different chapels as part of the representation of the city-state in the Italian architecture event. The news was confirmed by Paraguayan media outlets ABC y Última Hora, who revealed that one of the participants was local architect Javier Corvalán.

The elite group of architects was selected by Francesco Dal Co, an Italian architecture historian and curator. The designers have been instructed that their chapels must be able to be relocated so that they can be deployed around the world, in places that are in need of these spaces of worship.

The architects who will build chapels in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale:

Will Automation Affect Architects?

08:00 - 10 January, 2018
Will Automation Affect Architects?, © Nicolás Valencia, using image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/masakiishitani/4065681012/'>Flickr user masakiishitani</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
© Nicolás Valencia, using image © Flickr user masakiishitani licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

According to The Economist, 47% of the work done by humans will have been replaced by robots by 2037, even those traditionally associated with university education. While the World Economic Forum estimates that between 2015 and 2020, 7.1 million jobs will be lost around the world, as "artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human employees."

It's not science fiction: the MIT Technology Review warns that the current debate over raising the minimum wage for fast food employees in the United States would accelerate their own automation. On the other hand, Silicon Valley personalities and millionaires like Elon Musk and Richard Branson warned that the impact of automation will force the creation of a universal basic income to compensate not only the massive unemployment that would generate these new technologies but also the hyper-concentration of the global wealth.

One advocate of this idea is the British economist Guy Standing who wrote at the Davos Forum that it "would be a sensible precaution against the possibility of mass displacement by robotization and artificial intelligence," but will automation affect architects? Will we really be replaced by robots?

A Lawn Circle 70 Meters in Diameter Took Over Plaza Mayor in Madrid

14:00 - 16 December, 2017
A Lawn Circle 70 Meters in Diameter Took Over Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Cortesía de Ayuntamiento de Madrid / Difusión
Cortesía de Ayuntamiento de Madrid / Difusión

Earlier this year the Plaza Mayor in Madrid awoke covered by a giant meadow of natural grass. A circle of 70 meters in diameter, without any restriction of access, allowed Madrilenians to take a break, sit down, read a book or simply take a picture, enjoying this urban landmark from a new perspective.

This seemingly simple, but impressive doing is the most recent intervention by the anonymous artist SpY was part of Four Seasons (Cuatro Estaciones), an urban art program run by the Madrid City Council to celebrate the IV Centenary of the Plaza Mayor.

Why Freddy Mamani is Leading A New Andean Architecture

08:00 - 25 November, 2017
Why Freddy Mamani is Leading A New Andean Architecture, © Alfredo Zeballos
© Alfredo Zeballos

The media outbreak for architect Elisabetta Andreoli and artist Ligia D'Andrea’s book "Andean Architecture of Bolivia", which focuses on the work of Freddy Mamani - ex-bricklayer turned engineer and constructor- has become the excuse to talk about everything else related to the highland country of Bolivia.

Such as the shortcomings and luxuries of the rapid urban expansion dispersed in El Alto, the youngest city in Bolivia; the birth of a new Aymara bourgeoisie in the shadow of the white elites; and the birth of a contemporary architectural identity that bothers purists and makes Aymaras proud, but is rejected by local architecture schools. Below, you can find out more about this new type of architecture together with photos by Alfredo Zeballos.

Andrés Jaque: "Architecture Is Always Political"

18:00 - 30 October, 2017

In the context of the XX Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism in Chile, we spoke with the Spanish architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation. In a conversation named Lucha Libre Jaque argued that "all architects are politicians" by default and the real question is what forms of policy we are willing to defend.

MoMA PS1 YAP 2015 - COSMO / Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation. Image © Miguel de Guzmán Escaravox / Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation. Image © Miguel de Guzmán Super Powers of Ten / Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation. Image © Jorge López Conde Casa en Never Never Land / Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation. Image © Miguel de Guzmán + 5

Can You Guess Which Cities These Music Videos Were Filmed In?

08:00 - 18 October, 2017
Can You Guess Which Cities These Music Videos Were Filmed In?, via Youtube
via Youtube

In the age of green screen backgrounds, hyperrealistic renderings and the endless run of superhero movies that rely heavily on special effects, some directors are still betting on turning cities into protagonists of their music videos. In the nineties, Michael Jackson visited Brazil and filmed They Do Not Care About Us in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in South America – but do you remember which city it was?

Here we compiled ten music videos where the cities, their neighborhoods and their inhabitants serve as the stage for actors, singers, and dancers to display their art around the world.

Can you recognize the cities where these music videos were filmed? Take the test below and find out.

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Reveal Design of the New Montblanc Museum in Hamburg

16:00 - 11 October, 2017
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Reveal Design of the New Montblanc Museum in Hamburg, Montblanc Haus. Exterior view. Image © Nieto Sobejano
Montblanc Haus. Exterior view. Image © Nieto Sobejano

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has revealed the design of Montblanc Haus, a new museum, visitor center and event space in Hamburg, Germany dedicated to the "art of writing" and the finely-detailed craftsmanship of Montblanc products. The
Spanish firm was selected as the winner of an international competition ahead of top teams including Snohetta (Norway), John Pawson (UK), wHY (USA) and Noé Duchaufour (France).

At the announcement, Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz and Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki unveiled the design of the 39,395-square-foot (3,660-square-meter) project for the first time, presenting it as a new architectural icon for the city. Estimated to cost 20 million euros, the museum will tell the story of Montblanc through the company's iconic writing utensils and products.

Jeanne Gang, Sebastián Irarrázaval Among 2018 RIBA International Fellows

06:00 - 4 October, 2017
Jeanne Gang, Sebastián Irarrázaval Among 2018 RIBA International Fellows, Brick-Weave House / Studio Gang. Image © Hedrich Blessing
Brick-Weave House / Studio Gang. Image © Hedrich Blessing

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revealed the list of 9 architects selected for their 2018 RIBA International Fellowships program, established to "reward the particular contributions non-UK architects have made to architecture." In addition, 14 individuals from diverse backgrounds have been named honorary fellows.

Read on after the break for the full Fellowship lists

Time-Lapse Shows the Roof Installation at Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium

09:30 - 3 September, 2017

On Thursday, July 29th, the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano's roof was officially completed. This new stadium, a renovation of the old Peineta athletics stadium, is the new home ground of Spanish football club Atlético Madrid.

In this video, FCC Construcción captures the intense work on the roof which was designed and constructed by engineers Schlaich Bergermann Partner. The milestone marks four months of intense work since the installation of the first of the 96 PTFE radial panels at the north end of the stadium.

Reflections, a Tribute to Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion

08:00 - 24 August, 2017

There is always something new to say about Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Sometimes we uncover an unknown detail, other times an intervention is revealed or we discover a new lens to observe it. The latter is the case with Spanish architect and audiovisual creator Fernando Ayuso, who wanted to pay homage to this historical work.

International Antarctic Center Design Winner Announced

16:00 - 19 August, 2017
International Antarctic Center Design Winner Announced, Cortesía de Equipo Primer Lugar
Cortesía de Equipo Primer Lugar

A team led by Alberto Moletto, Cristóbal Tirado, Sebastián Hernández and Danilo Lagos has been selected as the winners of the Punta Arenas International Antarctic Center (CAI) design competition.

The ambitious state-owned project sought to create a "distinctive and iconic infrastructure that is necessary to consolidate the position of Chile as an Antarctic country and Punta Arenas as the main gateway city to West Antarctica."

Take an in-depth look at the winning proposal, described by its authors as a hybrid building, organized "formally and programmatically from strata or superimposed layers, materially varied to host diverse program elements, each with its own character." Here, the architects tell their story.

Artist Brings Striking Pop Surrealism To An Abandoned French Castle

08:00 - 22 July, 2017
Artist Brings Striking Pop Surrealism To An Abandoned French Castle, © Spencer Chopem Down
© Spencer Chopem Down

Okuda, the Spanish artist who has been converted into one of the biggest figures in pop surrealism, is continuing his artistic journey in France. After paying homage to the Mona Lisa in the façade of a 19 story building and designing a trampoline above the Seine River, the artist has now taken on the façade of the Valette Castle (1864) in Loiret, which has been abandoned since the 80’s.

The work is titled “Skull in Mirror” and reactivates the Valette Castle whose history links France and Spain. In 1936, during the time of the Spanish Civil War, Republicans purchased the castle, where initially it housed children evacuated from conflict and then later, political exiles. In the 50’s, Spain, under Franco’s rule reclaimed it and used it for holiday camps. Two decades later, the castle was converted into a Spanish school and by 1986 was left abandoned. In 2002, it was acquired by the Pressigny-les-Pins council and a private company. 

Jan Gehl: "The Modern Movement Put an End to the Human Scale"

08:00 - 21 July, 2017

On Thursday 29 of June, Jan Gehl the Danish architect and urban planner, spoke at the Conference “Thinking urban: cities for people” organised by UN-Habitat and the Official Architects College of Madrid (COAM as it is abbreviated in Spanish) about the urban transformations that have occurred in Copenhagen as a result of the errors of the modernist movement and the challenges facing the cities in the 21st century.

In a prior discussion with José María Ezquiaga (dean of COAM), and José Manuel Calvo (councilor of the Sustainable Development Area at the Madrid city council) at the Conference, Gehl highlighted the urban paradigm at the time of his student years, which is referred to as the Brasilia syndrome. 

Advice For Procrastinator Architects

08:00 - 22 May, 2017
Advice For Procrastinator Architects, Collage: "The Storm" by Pierre-Auguste (87.15.134). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. [1] (January, 2007), under public domain + Emoji One [Wikipedia], under license CC BY-SA 4.0. Image © Nicolás Valencia
Collage: "The Storm" by Pierre-Auguste (87.15.134). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. [1] (January, 2007), under public domain + Emoji One [Wikipedia], under license CC BY-SA 4.0. Image © Nicolás Valencia

Scrolling through memes of cats in disguise. Checking if food has magically appeared in your refrigerator every ten minutes. Obsessively arranging books on your shelf by color. Renaming your computer's folders. In short, we seem to thrive on any irrelevant activity to avoid starting a reading, essay, model, or project. Procrastinate now, work later. Your future self can take care of business, after all.

As we suffer through long and strenuous projects, it is likely that we have all slipped into procrastination in order to avoid our next task. Not only do we avoid confronting work at the office or university studio, but also those personal errands which, if we dedicated ourselves, would enhance our daily lives. Below, based on our own experiences and expert opinion, and in order to avoid a host of other jobs around the ArchDaily office, we present 10 tips for architecture procrastinators, helping you to focus on the site analysis diagrams you should probably be doing right now!

RCR Arquitectes to Design Catalan Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale

11:01 - 12 May, 2017
RCR Arquitectes to Design Catalan Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale, Rafael Aranda (left), Carme Pigem and Ramón Vilalta, founders of RCR Arquitectes and 2017 Pritzker Prize winners. Image © Javier Lorenzo Domínguez
Rafael Aranda (left), Carme Pigem and Ramón Vilalta, founders of RCR Arquitectes and 2017 Pritzker Prize winners. Image © Javier Lorenzo Domínguez

The winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize, RCR Arquitectes, has been selected to lead the proposal and design of the Catalan pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. The news was announced yesterday by Santi Vila, Minister of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia, during the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale of Art.

NL Architects and XVW Architectuur's deFlat Wins 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award

06:01 - 12 May, 2017
NL Architects and XVW Architectuur's deFlat Wins 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award, DeFlatKleiburg /  NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg
DeFlatKleiburg / NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg

NL Architects + XVW architectuur’s “innovative renovation” of the DeFlat Kleiburg apartment complex in Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer neighbourhood has been selected as the winner of the 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture-Mies van der Rohe Award.

One of the largest residential buildings in the Netherlands, the complex was saved from the wrecking ball through its transformation into a rejuvenated framework called a “Klusflat," within which inhabitants could renovate their apartments by themselves. This is the first time the award has been given to a renovation of an existing building.

DeFlat Kleiburg was selected from a list of 355 works from 36 European countries, including the four other finalist projects: Rudy Ricciotti + Passelac & Roques’ Rivesaltes Memorial; BBGK Architekci’s Katyn Museum; Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects’ Kannikegården; and Alison Brooks Architects’ Ely Court. NL Architects were also awarded the EU Mies Awards’ Emerging Architect Prize in 2005 for their work BasketBar in Utrecht.

DeFlatKleiburg /  NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg DeFlatKleiburg /  NL architects + XVW architectuur. Image © Marcel van der Burg 5 unidades de vivienda social en Navez / MSA / V+. Image © Serge Brison 5 unidades de vivienda social en Navez / MSA / V+. Image © Serge Brison + 12

86% of the Most Dangerous Cities are in This Part of the World

08:00 - 11 May, 2017
86% of the Most Dangerous Cities are in This Part of the World, © <a href='https://500px.com/photo/211107851/untitled-by-magdalena-Roeseler'>500px user Magdalena Roesler</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/'>CC BY 3.0</a>
© 500px user Magdalena Roesler licensed under CC BY 3.0

For the past fifteen years, global headlines have depicted, through harrowing imagery, the effects of war on cities across the Middle East. An inevitable fracturing of law and order leads to an explosion of crime which we imagine could not be tolerated in a region at peace. However, when cities in war zones are set aside, an overwhelming yet underreported narrative emerges – 86% of the world’s most dangerous cities are in Latin America and the Caribbean.