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Nicolas Valencia

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

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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.

This House was Built in 5 Days Using Recycled Plastic Bricks

06:00 - 1 May, 2017
Construction of house made of recycled plastic bricks.. Image Courtesy of Conceptos Plásticos
Construction of house made of recycled plastic bricks.. Image Courtesy of Conceptos Plásticos

Ten years ago when Colombian Fernando Llanos tried to build his own house in Cundinamarca, he realized that moving the materials from Bogota was going to be very difficult. After mulling it over, he decided to build his house out of plastic, and after a series of trials and errors, he ended up meeting architect Óscar Méndez, who developed his thesis on the same subject, and together they founded the company Conceptos Plásticos (Plastic Concepts) in 2011. 

The innovative local company managed to patent its system of bricks and pillars made of recycled plastic, which is then put together like Lego pieces in a construction system that lets you build houses up to two stories high in five days.

Temporary shelter in Guapi (Colombia) for 42 families displaced by armed conflict.. Image Courtesy of Conceptos Plásticos Temporary shelter in Guapi (Colombia) for 42 families displaced by armed conflict.. Image Courtesy of Conceptos Plásticos Temporary shelter in Guapi (Colombia) for 42 families displaced by armed conflict.. Image Courtesy of Conceptos Plásticos Temporary shelter in Guapi (Colombia) for 42 families displaced by armed conflict.. Image Courtesy of Conceptos Plásticos + 16

45 Years of Architecture Model Photography in Spain

12:00 - 16 April, 2017
45 Years of Architecture Model Photography in Spain, International Design Competition for the José Batlle y Ordóñez Monument in Montevideo (Uruguay), 1959. Architect: Roberto Puig Álvarez. Sculptor: Jorge Oteiza. Image © Photographic Library of the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Oteiza Museum Archives
International Design Competition for the José Batlle y Ordóñez Monument in Montevideo (Uruguay), 1959. Architect: Roberto Puig Álvarez. Sculptor: Jorge Oteiza. Image © Photographic Library of the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Oteiza Museum Archives

138 images, 14 albums, 20 magazines, 13 original models and one projection are part of Modeling for the Camera: Photography of architectural models in Spain, 1925-1970, the current exhibition of the ICO Museum in Madrid, curated by Iñaki Bergera, PhD of Architecture from the University of Navarra.

The exhibition is tied to the book of the same name that was published in 2016, edited by La Fábrica and the Ministry of Public Works (Spain). In times when 3D visualization software has popularized, accelerated and perfected the rendering industry, both materials choose to value the legacy of architectural model photography in the 20th century.

Club Táchira, Caracas (Venezuela), 1956. Architects: Eduardo Torroja Miret and José Fructoso Vivas Vivas. Image © Modern construction archives- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Alberto Sartoris. © García Moya Preliminary design outdoor gazebo for music band. National Prize of Architecture, 1962. Architect: Juan Daniel Fullaondo Errazu. Image © Paco Gómez Archive / Foto Colectania Foundation Headquarters of JORBA Laboratories, Madrid, 1965. Architect: Miguel Fisac ​​Serna. Image © C. Jiménez. Fisac ​​Foundation Torres Blancas, Madrid, 1969. Architect: Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza. Image © Collection Architectural College of Catalonia Historical Archives. Photography: L. Jiménez + 15

Download High Resolution World City Maps for CAD

12:00 - 12 April, 2017

Mapacad is a website that offers downloads of .dwgs of dozens of cities. With 200 metropolises in their database, the founders have shared a set of their most-downloaded cities.

The files contain closed polyline layers for buildings, streets, highways, city limits, and geographical data--all ready for use in CAD programs like Autocad, Rhino, BricsCad and SketchUp.

See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Missing Works Recreated in Photorealistic Renders

09:00 - 6 March, 2017
See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Missing Works Recreated in Photorealistic Renders, Larkin Building (1903-1950), digitally reconstructed by David Romero. Image © David Romero
Larkin Building (1903-1950), digitally reconstructed by David Romero. Image © David Romero

With the help of a vast array of software, Spanish architect David Romero has digitally recreated a series of iconic works by Frank Lloyd Wright, two of which have been demolished and a third that was never built. The three projects were based in the United States: the Larkin Administration Building (1903-1950), the Rose Pauson House (1939-1943) and the Trinity Chapel (1958).

"The 3D visualization tools that we have are rarely used to investigate the past architecture and the truth is that there is a huge field to explore,” said Romero in an interview with ArchDaily about his project Hooked on the Past. Romero worked with AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Vray, and Photoshop while restoring black and white photographs, sketches and drawings of these works.

Rose Pauson House  (1939-1943). Image © David Romero Rose Pauson House  (1939-1943). Image © David Romero Trinity Chapel (1958), an unbuilt project by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © David Romero Trinity Chapel (1958), an unbuilt project by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image © David Romero + 29

World's First 3D Printed Bridge Opens in Spain

06:00 - 7 February, 2017
World's First 3D Printed Bridge Opens in Spain, Courtesy of IAAC
Courtesy of IAAC

The first 3D printed pedestrian bridge in the world opened to the public on December 14 in Madrid. Led by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in a process that took a year and a half from its conception, the structure crosses a stream in Castilla-La Mancha Park in Alcobendas, Madrid.

Although similar initiatives have already been announced in the Netherlands, this is the first to have finished construction. The structure is printed in micro-reinforced concrete, and measures 12 meters in length and 1.75 meters wide.

Courtesy of IAAC Courtesy of IAAC Courtesy of IAAC Courtesy of IAAC + 5

The Most Beautiful Visual Compositions From The Simpsons

09:00 - 31 January, 2017

Una foto publicada por Scenic Simpsons (@scenic_simpsons) el

If you’re a true Simpsons fan, you know there is a Golden Age in which every single episode does not only parody our society, but is filled with film tributes and sexual innuendos that we remember to this day.

From a faith-versus-science conflict (Lisa the Skeptic, 09x08) to the impact of online fake news (The Computer Wore Menace Shoes, 12x06); from Populism in Urban Policy (Marge vs the Monorail, 04x12) to its well-known predictions like the rise of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States (Bart to the Future, 11x17), the show has a knack for providing the social commentary we didn't know we needed.

We had yet to notice, however, just how beautiful some of the visual compositions delivered by the show’s best episodes truly are: Springfield’s ever-changing skyline; the axonometric views that reflect the loneliness experienced by the characters; or the point-perfect generic recreational facilities that every city has.

How did we discover this? Through an Instagram account, Scenic Simpsons, which is dedicated to “showcasing the most beautiful scenes, colors, sets and abstract compositions from Springfield.” We've pulled some of our favorite images to check out below. Can you recognize which episode these scenes are from?

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

08:00 - 15 January, 2017
The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

Andalucía Rejects Construction of Alvaro Siza's New Gate of Alhambra Project

06:00 - 9 January, 2017
Andalucía Rejects Construction of Alvaro Siza's New Gate of Alhambra Project, New gate, by Alvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos. Image ©  Alvaro Siza Vieira + Juan Domingo Santos; Rendering by LT Studios
New gate, by Alvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos. Image © Alvaro Siza Vieira + Juan Domingo Santos; Rendering by LT Studios

The Regional Government of Andalucía (Spain) has decided not to move forward with plans to build "Puerta Nueva," the project for the new gate of Alhambra. Designed by Álvaro Siza and Juan Domingo Santos, the proposal won an international competition held in 2010. According to the newspaper El País, the decision follows the latest Icomos report, which rejects its construction and suggests it would have a "negative impact on the exceptional universal value of this monument World Heritage."

The 1992 Pritzker Prize winner's project sparked a long-running dispute between the Monument Patronage, the Mayor's Office of Granada and cultural institutions of Andalusia for the high concentration of commercial services that would be included in the project. "How is it possible to argue that the project is not integrated and is invasive in the landscape when the jury noted that one of its main virtues was its integration in a place so sensitive and intervened since the twentieth century?" remarked Siza and Santos on the decision of Andalucía, according to El País.

10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

08:00 - 25 November, 2016
10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs), © Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
© Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.

Its open source library helped the software to provide a wide range of 3D objects, while hundreds of users developed their own plugins not only to solve the problems of each version but also to exploit the potential of their tools.

We’re going to introduce you to 10 of the plugins shared by Sketchup Tutorials Facebook page using their demonstrative GIFs. If you don’t know how to add a SketchUp plugin, don’t worry! You can learn in this video also posted by them.

Norman Foster Selected To Remodel Museo del Prado Hall of Realms in Spain

09:05 - 24 November, 2016
Norman Foster Selected To Remodel Museo del Prado Hall of Realms in Spain, © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

According to Spanish media outlet El País, Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura have won an international ideas competition to design the new addition of the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The team beat 47 other participants, including firms such as Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos, OMA, and Souto Moura Arquitectos, and will be in charge of the renovation and transformation of the Salón de Reinos.

El País reports that the project will cost €30 million and will "provide a large atrium to access the building’s south façade." This "will lead to an exhibition space on the first story," while also making the park and surrounding site more pedestrian friendly.

Trouble Hits the Final Stages of Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia

06:00 - 17 October, 2016
Trouble Hits the Final Stages of Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia, Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: haschelsax, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0
Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: haschelsax, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0

Over the course of 134 years of construction of the Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona has experienced three unresolved conflicts. First, there was a lack of a (contemporary) construction permit, the nonpayment of taxes, and finally the uncertainty about whether or not to finally build the large plaza to the southeast that Gaudí imagined with the forced expulsion of up to 3,000 residents and lessees, all living in the area surrounding Sagrada Familia’s Glory Façade.

In recent days, these three issues have come to light almost simultaneously, but let’s discuss them one by one. Bitterly upset by what he describes as "a project without plans in Gaudi's name" Councilman of Barcelona Architecture, Urban Landscape and Heritage Daniel Mòdol called the Sagrada Familia a "giant Easter cake".

His statement, reported by the press two weeks ago, overshadowed the official Municipal proposal made to the temple’s construction monitoring committee "if they plan to modify the planning around the basilica" in a maximum period of six months. This is in reference to the large esplanade designed by Gaudi in his original plan, in front of the Glory Façade (between the streets Mallorca and Arago): a walkway 60 meters wide that would connect the temple with Diagonal Avenue.

Interior of the Sagrada Familia. Image © Flickr User: Kah-Wai Lin, bajo CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: haschelsax, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0 Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: Fredrik Rubensson, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0 Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: H.KoPP, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0 + 5

Soar over Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and More With These Incredible 360-Degree Panoramas

12:00 - 2 October, 2016

Since 2009, Mario Carvajal has captured amazing panoramic photographs from his hometown in Colombia as well as top destination spots around the globe. He has climbed the Empire State Building in New York and Colpatria Tower in Bogota, Colombia. Carvajal has captured the geographical beauty of Iceland as well as the intensity of Paris at night.

As Carvajal mentioned in an interview with ArchDaily, images in 360 degrees "allow the viewer to dive into an attractive and interesting 'virtual world' to experience immersive sensations". Of course, with the new surge in popularity these types of pictures have experienced with the hardware becoming more readily available and these images being shared more and more every day through Facebook, Carvajal's work reaches new levels, allowing thousands of people to see the world from above. 

Below, we invite you to see his best shots of iconic buildings and landscapes around the world. For a complete experience, we recommend using Google Cardboard.

Malkit Shoshan on How the City is a Shared Ground for the Instruments of War and Peace

10:45 - 17 May, 2016
Malkit Shoshan on How the City is a Shared Ground for the Instruments of War and Peace, Initial set-up, Camp Castor, Gao (Mali). Image © The Dutch Ministry of Defense
Initial set-up, Camp Castor, Gao (Mali). Image © The Dutch Ministry of Defense

Can architects have a truly active role in pressing social problems? Malkit Shoshan, the curator of the Dutch Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, thinks so. Her career is evidence of this: advocating for the incorporation of a fourth 'D' in the criteria of the UN (Defence, Diplomacy and Development) in its peacekeeping missions around the world, Shoshan has sat at the same table as military engineers and policy makers to analyze the urban impact peacekeepers have left around the world.

For the Dutch Pavilion, Shoshan has focused on the case of the joint mission of the Netherlands and the UN in Gao (Mali). In 2012, Gao was declared capital of the Independent State of Azawad, a nation not recognized by the international authorities, following Mali's Tuareg rebellion. "Although [these peacekeeping missions] occupy large plots of land in hundreds of different cities around the world, it is rarely discussed or addressed by our profession," says Soshan in the following interview.

We spoke with the curator of the Dutch pavilion after her recent visit to Mali to discuss the principles of the Netherlands in the next Venice Biennale; the impact of military drones in public spaces and why, according Shoshan, there is a close relationship between architecture, public policy and ideology. "[With design,] we can make resources available to communities that are exhausted by militarized conflicts, long periods of drought, famine and disease," she says.

FC Barcelona Explains the Design and Construction of the New Camp Nou in these Videos

08:00 - 23 April, 2016


At a press conference on Thursday, FC Barcelona presented the design of the new Camp Nou, a project led by Nikken Sekkei (Japan) with Joan Pascual i Ramon Ausió Arquitectes (Barcelona), who won the international competition in early March.

Alongside the team's players, the board of directors chaired by Josep Maria Bartomeu presented the model of the project, which will begin construction in mid-2017 to expand the stadium's capacity to 105,000 spectators. In addition, the organization published a series of videos about the project, including an explanation of how the expansion will take place without affecting a single football match.

Knitknot Architecture Seeks Funds for Nicaraguan School

08:00 - 22 April, 2016

Knitknot Architecture, in collaboration with nonprofit group Seeds of Learning, has designed -- and is raising funds to build -- the El Jicarito School. Located in El Jicarito, a tiny village in Nicaragua, the school will serve 27 children who currently do not have a school to attend.

The low-cost school design aims to bring the community together through collaborative construction methods, the use of local materials, and the creation of a new educational landscape that will enhance creativity.

© knitknot architecture © knitknot architecture © knitknot architecture © knitknot architecture + 13

Over 30 Countries to Participate in the Inaugural London Design Biennale

14:00 - 29 March, 2016
Over 30 Countries to Participate in the Inaugural London Design Biennale, FREE City, the Mexico proposal. Image © FernandoRomeroEnterprisE
FREE City, the Mexico proposal. Image © FernandoRomeroEnterprisE

A total of 34 countries will participate in the inaugural London Design Biennale, according to a press release from the organization. Set to open on September 7th, the Biennale will center on the theme Utopia by Design, looking at “sustainability, migration, pollution, water and social equality,” among other issues.

The theme was chosen in honor of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s “Utopia,” and the Biennale will be “the centerpiece” of the Somerset House’s year-long programme celebrating the text. “We chose the inaugural theme, Utopia by Design, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of  Thomas More’s classic, and to reflect on the rich history of the modernist design it inspired,” said Christopher Turner, the Director of the London Design Biennale. 

The Biennale “will present newly commissioned works in contemporary design, design-led innovation, creativity and research,” bringing together “designers, innovators and cultural bodies” to explore “the role of design in our collective futures.” A diverse group of countries from five continents are set to participate: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, SouthAfrica, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, UK and the USA.

US installation. Image © CooperHewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum The Cybersyn operations room, inspiration for the Chilean installation. Image © Gui Bonsiepe Aid Drop Yaniv Kadosh_ACT Shenkar, Israel’s proposal. Image © Sasha Flit 'Monstera Deliciosa, Volume I', South Africa proposal. Image © Southern Guild + 7

Harvard GSD Shortlists 4 Architects for 2016 Wheelwright Prize

12:00 - 29 March, 2016
Harvard GSD Shortlists 4 Architects for 2016 Wheelwright Prize, The four finalists, clockwise: Samuel Bravo, Matilde Cassani, Pier Paolo Tamburelli and Anna Puigjaner. Image via Wheelwright Prize
The four finalists, clockwise: Samuel Bravo, Matilde Cassani, Pier Paolo Tamburelli and Anna Puigjaner. Image via Wheelwright Prize

Harvard GSD has announced the four shortlisted architects for the 2016 Wheelwright Prize. Awarded annually, the $100,000 grant is for travel-based architectural research.

Selected from 200 applications from nearly 45 countries worldwide, the four finalists are from Italy, Spain and Chile. Each finalist will present their work and proposal on April 20. This year’s jury includes Eva Franch, Jeannie Kim, Kiel Moe, Rafael Moneo, Benjamin Prosky, Mohsen Mostafavi, and K. Michael Hays.