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Nicolas Valencia

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

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These Sheets of Graph Paper Were Used to Design Super Mario Bros

08:00 - 16 March, 2016
These Sheets of Graph Paper Were Used to Design Super Mario Bros, via Nintendo [Youtube]
via Nintendo [Youtube]

More than 6 million courses have been created for Super Mario Maker, a video game where players can create their own game levels with all of the available tools of the Mario universe. The plumber, who has entertained millions of people around the world with his adventures, turned 30 last September, the date of the release of his first solo odyssey, Super Mario Bros. The rest, as we know, is history.

A few months ago, for the premiere of Super Mario Maker at the last Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2015), Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, the creators of Super Mario Bros, explained how they designed the levels of the classic Nintendo video game in 1985: on graph paper.

That's right, using graph paper and tracing paper, the Japanese artists drew each level in detail, adding and editing the position of enemies, traps, and even designing the game's cover art.

via Nintendo [Youtube] via Nintendo [Youtube] via Nintendo [Youtube] via Nintendo [Youtube] + 11

Nikken Sekkei to Design New Camp Nou

14:00 - 8 March, 2016
Nikken Sekkei to Design New Camp Nou, Design of the new Camp Nou. Image Courtesy of FC Barcelona
Design of the new Camp Nou. Image Courtesy of FC Barcelona

Japanese practice Nikken Sekkei, in collaboration with Joan Pascual-Ramon Ausió Arquitectes, has been chosen to design the new Camp Nou stadium for FC Barcelona, according to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. The winning team was chosen over three other finalists: HKS + COX + Batell i Roig Arquitectes; BIG + IDOM + BAAS Arquitectes; POPULOUS + Mias Arquitectes + RCR Arquitectes.

The new design intends to compliment the recently unveiled New Palau Blaugrana, FC Barcelona's main basketball arena that will be designed by HOK and TAC Arquitectes. All this is happening alongside the Espai Barça remodel that is expected to begin in 2017 and complete by 2021.

UNESCO and Italy Form Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

08:00 - 2 March, 2016
UNESCO and Italy Form Task Force to Protect Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, Destruction by the Islamic State of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (Syria) in August 2015. Image © Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0
Destruction by the Islamic State of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra (Syria) in August 2015. Image © Wikipedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Italy and UNESCO have signed an agreement to create a special Italian task force to protect art, cultural sites, and ancient artifacts that are located in areas of war or conflict around the world. They will also form a center in Turin to train cultural heritage experts. The agreement arose from a proposal presented by Italy last October that was backed by 53 countries and the UN Security Council.

Conceived as the cultural version of the Blue Helmets -- the UN’s peacekeeping forces -- the group will initially be composed of 30 police detectives specializing in art theft, and 30 archeologists and art restorers and historians, who “are already operational and ready to go where UNESCO sends them,” said Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Culture, during the ceremony to sign the agreement.

Argentina Unveils Theme of National Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale

14:00 - 15 February, 2016
Argentina Unveils Theme of National Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale

Argentina has unveiled the theme of its national pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale: “experimentAR, poéticas desde la frontera” (to experience, poetry from the border). The pavilion will be curated by Atilio Pentimalli with Alejandro Vaca Bononato as the head of artistic direction.

15 Incredible Architectural Feats Made in Minecraft

06:00 - 15 February, 2016
15 Incredible Architectural Feats Made in Minecraft, Model of the Eiffel Tower in Minecraft. Image via LanguageCraft
Model of the Eiffel Tower in Minecraft. Image via LanguageCraft

With more than 70 million copies sold worldwide, it would be unfair to refer to Minecraft as just a simple game of textured boxes in a pixelated 3D world. After acquiring the makers of the game (Mojang) in 2014, Microsoft announced on Tuesday, January 19 that it also acquired MinecraftEdu, the official educational version of Minecraft, which is used as a creative tool in more than 10,000 classrooms in 45 countries around the world.

The infinite possibilities that the game offers have led millions of people around the world to make and share their greatest creations: cities, buildings and even the reinterpretation of historical structures. Minecraft's impact was recognized in 2015 when the Centre Pompidou dedicated an exhibition to its creative potential for children and adolescents.

We've rounded up 15 of the best models created on the platform. And if you use Minecraft, you can download most of them (via an external link provided by the creator) to add to your own account.

Adamantis. Image via jamdelaney1 Tatsuyama, Empire of the Dragon Mountain. Image via Wooraah Atlantis. Image via NewHeaven Forbidden City. Image via bohtauri + 75

Three Years in Villa Verde, ELEMENTAL’s Incremental Housing Project in Constitución, Chile

14:00 - 18 January, 2016

Where were you when it happened? On February 27, 2010 an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Chile, causing destruction across the country. Ask any Chilean what they were doing at the time, and they will have a story to tell.

Oriana Pinochet Villagra and her family were in Constitución when the ground started to shake. A town centered around the forestry industry, Constitución is surrounded by green mountains, and situated where the Maule river meets the Pacific Ocean.

It was one of the cities most affected by the earthquake in 2010. The ocean water flooded the river, wrecking everything that the earthquake hadn’t already destroyed. Those that lived along the riverbank were left in the street with mud burying their houses -- Oriana's family lost 30 years of memories.

Almost six years after the natural disaster, we visited Constitución where Oriana Pinochet showed us one of the major reconstruction projects in the city: Villa Verde Housing, a residential neighborhood for 484 of the affected families. With partial financing from housing subsidies and based on the idea of incremental housing, the project is designed by ELEMENTAL, the “Do Tank” of 2016 Pritzker Prize laureate, Alejandro Aravena.

The Beauty of Symmetry in 12 Photos

08:00 - 6 January, 2016
The Beauty of Symmetry in 12 Photos, Hong Kong. Image © @andreknot [IG]
Hong Kong. Image © @andreknot [IG]

Symmetry has always been a source of obsession in architecture. In Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and later during the Renaissance, symmetry was used as a way to find true beauty, while in the early Modern movement its eradication was an essential part of breaking with history.

Without a doubt there is something beautiful in symmetry, and popular Instagram accounts like @symmetricalmonsters collect photos that best capture symmetry in the architecture of everyday life.

View our selection of images after the break.

Madrid Rejects Current Renovation Plans for Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

08:00 - 22 December, 2015
Madrid Rejects Current Renovation Plans for Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Winning proposal for the Bernabéu Stadium. Image
Winning proposal for the Bernabéu Stadium. Image

At the beginning of 2014, gmp was selected through a competition to redesign Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium, as part of a larger project being implemented by Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez. In addition to expanding the capacity of the stadium and covering it with a metallic, retractable roof, the project consisted of constructing a 12,250 square meter retail center and hotel, and an underground parking lot for up to 600 cars.

Now, however, the Madrid City Council has rejected the current renovation plan for the stadium. Speaking with local media, Chief of Sustainable Urban Development, José Manuel Calvo, explained that the current authorities will only support projects that are “consistent with public interest, [that] don’t involve new uses of public land and that are confined exclusively to the area currently occupied by the stadium’s facilities.”

Alberto Campo Baeza Wins 2015 BigMat International Architecture Award

06:00 - 15 December, 2015
Alberto Campo Baeza Wins 2015 BigMat International Architecture Award, © Javier Callejas Sevilla
© Javier Callejas Sevilla

Alberto Campo Baeza’s Office Building in Zamora, Spain has been selected as the winner of the 2015 BigMat International Architecture Award, with the judges commending how the design combines “the contemporary nature of the building with a respectful understanding of its existing surroundings.”

Recognized with a prize of 30,000 euros, Campo Baeza’s project was selected from 750 projects located in six different European countries. Five national winners and five finalists were also announced, while Samuel Delmas (a+ samueldelmas architects urbanistes) was awarded the Special Mention for Young Architects for his building in Nozay, France.

View all of the award winning projects after the break.

© Javier Callejas Sevilla © Aitor Ortiz © Gustav Willeit © Hugo Santos Silva + 7

Architects and Our Right to Fail

09:30 - 20 November, 2015
Architects and Our Right to Fail, © Mark Lascelles Thornton
© Mark Lascelles Thornton

The architecture world is a very different place compared to what it was ten years ago - a fact that is all too obvious for today's young architects, who bore the brunt of the financial crisis. But how can recent graduates harness such rapid change to make a positive impact? This article written by ArchDaily en Español's Nicolás Valencia explores the impact of the financial crisis on architecture in the Global South and in particular in the Spanish-speaking world, finding that it may be the inalienable right of the architect "to give yourself room to fail or to quit."

For some years now, three figures have been floating around that are worrisome to Chilean architects and architectural students: every year 48 architectural schools enroll 3,500 students and give degrees to another 1,400 in a completely saturated market. The future appears bleak, the professional internships are depressing, and among those who already have degrees, we're all too familiar with the exploitative offices that not only offer their employees zero contracts (or health insurance of any kind, all the while praying that nobody gets injured) but also make them work much more than they agreed to with paltry salaries and labor unions that have seen better days. Meanwhile at the universities, talking about money in studios, or about flesh and blood clients, has become a taboo subject. “Students, don't let money tarnish the beauty of the discipline” they tell you. Of course, not only does it not get tarnished, but we've gotten to the point where many don't even know how much to charge for a plan drawing, let alone for an actual project.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Model of 100 Circles Explores the Diversity of Repetition

16:00 - 15 November, 2015
Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Model of 100 Circles Explores the Diversity of Repetition, Model for 'Infinite Motive'. Image Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Model for 'Infinite Motive'. Image Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Chilean art and architecture studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen’s “Finite Format” exhibition is currently on display at one of the most important cultural sites in the Czech Republic: The House of Art of Ceske Budějovice. Composed of more than 480 paintings (Finite Format) and six ink drawings (Infinite Motive), the installation aims to demonstrate the firm’s “underlying method to understand not only the artistic qualities in a work of architecture but also the architectonic attributes of a work of art,” according to the architects.

In parallel, Pezo von Ellrichshausen also carried out a workshop with 14 architecture students from the Technical University of Liberec to conceptualize and construct a twelve-square-meter scale model for the "Infinite Motive" installation. Using the circle as the basic element, the architects reflect on how “architectonic intentions may be diluted by means of the repetition of a single figure with a diverse range of dimensions.”

10 Striking GIFs That Bring Europe's Architectural Landmarks to Life

06:00 - 9 November, 2015

Funded through Kickstarter, Luke Shepard’s short film Night Vision is a “visual exploration of European buildings, monuments and landmarks after dark.” The film travels through 36 cities across 21 European countries, “creating image sequences of some of the most awe-inspiring European buildings.”

Shepard has also created a series of GIFs in conjunction with Night Vision, revealing in just a few seconds the beauty of 10 European heritage landmarks, ranging from the Metropolis building in Spain (featured above) to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

View the GIFs after the break.

Rafael de La-Hoz Designs New Headquarters for Real Madrid

06:00 - 4 November, 2015
Rafael de La-Hoz Designs New Headquarters for Real Madrid, Courtesy of Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos
Courtesy of Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos

With a “well-balanced” proposal, according to the jury, Spanish firm Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos has been selected to design the new corporate headquarters for Spanish soccer team Real Madrid.

Carried out in collaboration with building company Ferrovial Agromán, the winning proposal aims at “unifying all services, modernizing administrative offices and, more generally, addressing the challenges of the future,” according to the firm. 

IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

06:00 - 30 October, 2015

Sofoklis Giannakopoulos, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), has designed Pylos, a 3D printer that utilizes a natural, biodegradable, cheap, recyclable and local material that everyone is familiar with: the earth.

In an effort to make 3D printing a “large scale construction approach” even in years of economic and environmental turmoil, Pylos explores the structural potential of soil, a material that has been widely used in vernacular architecture around the world, and particularly in the Global South.

Learn more about the printer after the break.

Gaudí's Sagrada Família to Become Tallest Church in Europe by 2026

14:30 - 23 October, 2015
Gaudí's Sagrada Família to Become Tallest Church in Europe by 2026, Templo Expiatorio of the Sagrada Família. Image © Flickr User: Jose Gonzalvo Vivas, bajo CC BY 2.0
Templo Expiatorio of the Sagrada Família. Image © Flickr User: Jose Gonzalvo Vivas, bajo CC BY 2.0

133 years since the laying of its foundation, the construction of Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família has entered its final phase. This news was announced in a recent press conference by the project's directing architect Jordi Faulí, who will oversee the completion of six new towers that will raise the "Tower of Jesus Christ" to 172.5 meters-tall, making it the tallest religious structure in Europe and Barcelona's tallest building.

The final stage will include the construction of the 172.5 meter Tower of Jesus Christ, as well as five other 135-meter towers honoring the Virgin Mary and the four apostles. 

More information and a video after the break.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Unveils Design for Chile’s LAMP Art Museum

07:00 - 20 October, 2015
Pezo von Ellrichshausen Unveils Design for Chile’s LAMP Art Museum, Maqueta. Image Cortesía de Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Maqueta. Image Cortesía de Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Pezo von Ellrichshausen has unveiled the designs for Chile's new LAMP museum. To be located in the city of Concepción, the museum will host a collection of 2,000 paintings, 500 sculptures and 1,800 books of Chilean artist Eduardo Meissner and painter Rosemarie Prim. The museum will take shape at the foot of the Caracol hill in the city’s Ecuador park, with construction expected to start in 2016.

While the architects describe the project as “a generic spatial structure for a specific condition,” Meissner wrote in an open letter that “the collection will occupy a diaphanous and convincing new building, full of flowers, birds, maidens and spheres, replete with life and air. A building that I imagine floating, with you inside, facing the Biobío river.”

Learn more about the proposal after the break. 

What Does Germán Samper See When He Draws?

08:00 - 25 September, 2015
What Does Germán Samper See When He Draws?, Germán Samper drawing. Image © Nicolás Valencia
Germán Samper drawing. Image © Nicolás Valencia

Hiding out from the gentle Bogotá rain, a cat with turquoise eyes and a black and white coat prowls along the ledge of an office hidden in the midst of lush vegetation. A large window with a wooden frame filters the light and illuminates the interior: a desk, hundreds of books, manila folders, and backlit pictures. Sitting comfortably in his chair, 91-year-old Colombian architect Germán Samper takes a pencil, presses it to the surface of a sheet of paper, and begins to explain everything he is saying by drawing for us in the most clear and simple manner possible.

Whether he's giving instructions on taking a taxi in Bogotá or explaining the recent modifications to the historic Colsubisdio citadel, Samper -- a master of Colombian architecture -- can express ideas on paper with an ease that makes us think that drawing might be very simple, but it's really just a great trick.

Perseverance is key and Samper knows this from experience. "I don't understand why architects don't draw more if it is truly a pleasure," he ponders.

After the break, a conversation with Germán Samper and a series of unedited sketches by the Colombian architect.

Gaudí’s Casa Vicens to Open as a Museum in 2016

12:00 - 7 September, 2015
Gaudí’s Casa Vicens to Open as a Museum in 2016, Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr CC]
Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr CC]

Designed by Antonio Gaudí in Barcelona when he was 30, and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, Casa Vicens will be converted into a museum and open its doors to the public during the second half of 2016.

Built between 1883 and 1889, Casa Vicens was the first house designed by Gaudí. The building’s current owner, a subsidiary of the financial group Mora Banc Grup, is currently working on its restoration and the museum planning. “The mission of Casa Vicens as a house museum is to present the first Gaudí house, presenting it as an essential work to understand his unique architectural language and the development of Art Nouveau in Barcelona,” explained the executive manager of the project, Mercedes Mora, in a recent interview with Iconic Houses.

Learn more after the break. 

Casa Vicens. Image © Michela Simoncini [Flickr CC] Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr CC] Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr CC] Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr CC] + 5