Results have been announced for the 5th Global LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction, with three women-led teams awarded the gold, silver, and bronze positions. The design competition asked participants to speculate on future methods of balancing environmental performance, social responsibility and economic growth, “exemplifying architectural excellence and a high degree of transferability.”
The history of Mexican photography has contributed to highlighting Mexico's presence in the world. Photographers like Elsa Medina, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Maya Goded, and Juan Rulfo have masterfully portrayed the life of the buildings, houses and the streets of a rapidly built, nineteenth-century Mexico.
As a consequence, the contemporary scene of Mexican photography has become a fundamental tool for architecture and has contributed to a better visual understanding of the works that are erected every day.
Photography and architecture are two disciplines that go hand in hand and whose relationship has been reinforced thanks to the digital tools that we currently have. For that reason, we have compiled the work of contemporary Mexican photographers who record our walk through the world we live in and contribute to constructing the image of contemporary Mexico.
This article was originally published by Ezra Schwartz on LinkedIn. It has been reprinted here with permission from the author.
Following a recent family visit to Chichén Itzá, I became somewhat obsessed with a couple of design enigmas I found there:
Design Enigma 1: The large pyramid in this amazing archeological complex, known as the Temple of Kukulkán, is highly symmetrical. But the first thing I observed when we approached it and stood in front of its west side, is that the structure on top of the pyramid (A above), is not center-aligned relative to the 9 terraces below it, as one would expect*. The visual guides 1 and 2 show the misalignment (images above and below).
A new group of young Mexican architects is committed to a form of representation that relies on tools from our era, simultaneously taking up concepts from the sixties and seventies, where the technique of collage made it possible to face the frustrating reality that took place at the time to represent the utopias thought up by architects.
Visiting Mexico City several times in recent months enabled me to get to know a number of leading architects there. In the process, I was in turn directed to other architects that were new to me, whom I then discovered were, in fact, the leading and most revered architects in the country according to the local architectural community. I am particularly referring to Alberto Kalach and Mauricio Rocha, whose interviews were published in this column last year, and Benjamín Romano, whose name came up when I asked a number of architects to cite their favorite building from recent years in Mexico City. Along with the absolute favorite, Vasconcelos Library by Kalach, another structure stood out: Torre Reforma, a 57-story office tower, the tallest building in the city. The following conversation with Romano, its architect, took place inside this unusually powerful and inventive structure.
Each year the Vilcek Foundation selects American immigrant champions of the arts and sciences. This year the 2018 Vilcek Prize in Architecture was awarded to Guatemala-born, and now San Diego-based, professor and architect Teddy Cruz. Cruz uses his past experiences, living in Guatemala during its civil war, to focus his academic and professional career on shaping political and socioeconomic forces.
Spanish and Mexican architect Félix Candela is widely recognized as one of the most prominent figures in 20th century architecture. His innovative experiments with reinforced concrete produced iconic buildings deemed cascarones, or 'shell structures', such as the Pavilion of Cosmic Rays at UNAM, Mexico City (1951); the Chapel Lomas de Cuernavaca, Cuernavaca (1958); Los Manantiales Restaurant, Xochimilco (1958); and the Palace of Sports for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
The Architectural League of New York has announced the recipients of its 2018 Emerging Voices awards, spotlighting individuals and firms “with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.”
This exhibition roots Félix Candela (1910-1997) as one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century in his advanced geometric designs and lasting influence in contemporary architecture. It originated through the research of scholar Juan Ignacio del Cueto and is curated by the architectural theorist and designer Alexander Eisenschmidt. The exhibition spotlights Félix Candela’s Concrete Shells through photographs, architectural models, and plans, as well as archival material from his time as a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1971 to 1978.
As part of a generation of designers that have, in recent years, put Mexico on the map, Tatiana Bilbao is an architect that is increasingly part of the profession’s global consciousness. But, while some Mexican architects have made their mark with spectacular architecture following the international trend of “iconic” architecture, Bilbao opted instead for a more people-focused approach. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series, Bilbao explains how she got into this type of community-building architecture, her thoughts on architectural form, and her ambitions for the future.
Vladimir Belogolovsky:The more I talk to architects of your generation or my generation, the more it becomes apparent that architecture has absolutely no boundaries. In other words, architecture is not just about buildings. More and more, architecture is about building communities.
Tatiana Bilbao: Absolutely. For me, that is the most important part of architecture. Architecture is not about building a building; architecture is about building a community.
The new year is almost here, and Richard Meier & Partners has four international projects that will be coming to fruition. These new multi-use building designs play with light, transparency, and volume as well as respond to their varying urban context.
At the end of September, we invited our Spanish-speaking readers to send us their social housing proposals completed at a university level. Social housing is still a challenge for much of Latin America and although every year hundreds of architecture students work on projects that reflect their concerns in the social housing field, its visibility is very low and its materialization is null. At a time when the Global South has pursued its own responses to its own problems, the university response on social housing should be taken into account by the State, both of whom are interested in the common good.
Out of 116 proposals received from Spain and 11 Latin American countries, this selection of 20 ideas represents the different challenges and state of the problems in social housing. While some approach Colombia's post-conflict scenario for rural inhabitants, some propose answers to the insertion of social housing in already densified areas, to which the beneficiaries tend to be relegated by the value of land and housing. Other ideas point to the reconversion of infrastructure, modulation, the integration of indigenous peoples and natural disasters.
We believe that the selection not only highlights the efforts of students and academics to address contingent problems but will also open up the discussion about social housing, often relegated only as a one-dimensional problem when in reality, poverty is multidimensional.
As the son of famed Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, and now the leader of the firm which he joined under his father in 1989, Victor Legorreta is one of Mexico’s most visible architects. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series, Legorreta discusses the complexities of following in the footsteps of his father and how, in his view, good architecture is made.
Vladimir Belogolovsky:What kind of projects are you working on at this moment?
Victor Legorreta: We work on a variety of projects—about 60 percent are in Mexico and the rest are abroad. Mexico City is increasingly becoming a vertical city in its attempt to reverse its tendency of growing into an endless and dysfunctional sprawl. We are working on several mixed-use towers with retail, entertainment, restaurants, offices, and residential uses in a single building to enable people to find everything they need within easy reach, to lessen the pressure on traffic, which in the city is now among the worst in the world. We are also working with The Aga Khan Foundation on two projects—a university in Tanzania and a hospital and university in Uganda.
The CEMEX Building Award recognizes the best projects in Mexico and the rest of the world that use concrete in a creative and innovative way, with a focus on sustainability and social welfare. This year, the award received 545 entries in its Mexican Edition, of which 18 were awarded prizes.
The awards ceremony took place on November 9th in Mexico City, with finalists attending from the Czech Republic, France, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and various countries from South America.
The CEMEX Building Award recognizes the best projects in Mexico and the rest of the world that use concrete in a creative and innovative way, with a focus on sustainability and social welfare. This year, the award received 70 entries in the 5 categories and 4 special awards of its International Edition.