The brise soleil is an architectural element that has been used since ancient times to create subtle barriers between the interior and the exterior. Its use and design have been diversified over the years through the research and technology with which these elements are applied, creating the ability to build a small window to a complete facade and pavilion that seem to float.
We know that Mexico is a country with one of the most diverse climates, thus the use of a brise soleil is positioned stronger within the guild. Also, rural areas have long adapted the feature in Mexico, demonstrating its beauty and usefulness. Read on for our collection of 21 brise soleil features in Mexican projects to inspire you with its diverse applications.
In August I moderated a round table at UNAM in Mexico City in which I posed a provocative question: is architecture art? The participants, architects Mauricio Rocha, Gabriela Carrillo, and Victor Legorreta argued that despite architecture’s limitations, it is architects’ attempts to overcome them that makes it art. Meanwhile Gabriel de la Mora, an artist trained as an architect, drew a line, separating the two disciplines: “Art is art and architecture is architecture,” he insisted. Yet both sides were not quite satisfied with their initial assertions and the discussion continued, opening up to many interesting positions that pulled and pushed the interlocutors closer together and further apart with every attempt to give an explanation. I loved the discussion and I hoped we would not reach any definitive answers; the last thing we need in architecture is a consensus. It is our insistence on questioning that leads to new visions and unique solutions.
The following is my conversation with Rocha and Carrillo, as part of my City of Ideas column, in which we talked about their desire to make gravity feel light, seeing each project as a dialogue, their love for making decisions based on accidents, and their disinterest in being perfect. The architects strive to achieve a “meaningful silence” and they prefer to pay no notice to that line between architecture and art, the boundary that so few architects even dare to approach.
The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal have announced two Mexican architects as winners of their 2017 “Women in Architecture” Awards. This year’s Architect of the Year is awarded to Gabriela Carrillo of Taller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, while Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura’s Rozana Montiel was named the winner of the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture. Both women were selecting for demonstrating “excellence in design and a commitment to working both sustainably and democratically with local communities.”
The Architectural Review (AR) has announced the shortlist of 9 female architects in the running for its 2016 Woman Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture awards. This year’s candidates come from a wide range of backgrounds, operating in UK, Mexico, France, the USA and Canada, and have been lauded by the AR for their “projects demonstrating exceptional design and awareness of geographical and political contexts.”