Mexico's Valle de Bravo region, to the southeast of Mexico City, is characterized by the Presa Miguel Alemán lake, created in 1947 as a reservoir for Mexico City and Toluca's water supply. Thanks to its proximity to the capital, Valle de Bravo is a popular weekend destination for residents of surrounding cities. This in turn has sparked the interest of various architects, who have aimed to create projects that enhance visitors' experience such as offering an optimal view of the lake, or an immersive experience in the surrounding forest.
Washington D.C. has earned a reputation for iconic architecture. Emerging from the L'Enfant and McMillan Plans, Washington’s cityscape includes wide streets and low-rise buildings that sprawl out from circles and rectangular plazas. From the White House to Lincoln Memorial, Washington’s architecture was built to symbolize the nation’s values. Today, new projects are designed to rethink the city’s morphology while respecting its identity.
Climate is one of the key factors to take into consideration when designing a space. Of course, this can present a challenge, especially when dealing with extreme climates and the need for insulating materials that are able to adapt to a wide range of conditions. Luckily, for architects operating in Mexico, the country's privileged climate facilitates the creation of microclimates and spaces that blur the line between interior and exterior.
In Yucatan, architects are reviving an ancient Mayan stucco technique for contemporary buildings, merging modern architecture with regional history and culture. The technique is called “chukum,” a term derived from the colloquial name for the Havardia albicans tree native to Mexico. Made with chukum tree bark, the material has several defining qualities that separate it from traditional stucco, including impermeable properties and a natural earthy color. Though chukum initially fell out of use following Spanish conquest of the Maya civilization, it was rediscovered and reemployed by Salvador Reyes Rios of the architecture firm Reyes Rios + Larrain Arquitectos in the late 1990’s, initiating a resurgence of use in the area.