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.
On November 20, the 2020 Panamerican Architecture Biennial of Quito (BAQ 2020) announced the winners of the present edition. Every other year, the BAQ "invites to discuss contemporary production of the built environment, aiming to improve the practice of our profession" in the Americas.
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.
For architects, schools are often complex structures to design. They must provide a variety of spaces for education, and also consider sports and recreational activities. But beyond its size or surface, the greatest challenge is to design an area that fosters a positive pedagogical environment for children. Below, a selection of +70 school projects with their drawings to inspire your proposals for learning campuses.
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.
Patios and gardens play a crucial role in a project's planning and layout. In some instances, they serve as organizing elements while in others, they improve the quality of life in a space by providing light, ventilation, and a connection to the outdoors while maintaining the privacy of the inhabitants.
“We need a new spatial contract." This is the call of Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Venice Biennale 2021, as an invitation for architects to imagine new spaces in which we can live together. Between a move towards urban flight and global housing crises, the growth of more low-rise, dense developments may provide an answer in the countryside. Turning away from single family homes in rural areas and suburbs, modern housing projects are exploring new models of shared living in nature.
Brick is one of the most popular materials for architects designing with a vintage or rustic aesthetic: exposed brick walls are often touted as highly desirable for apartments, restaurants, and stores, and exterior brick facades can make a building or home feel warmer and more inviting. However, the color and cut of the brick can greatly influence the atmosphere it emanates, with white brick lending itself to more minimalist design and tan brick tending to feel more rustic and earthy. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular brick colors, ways to artificially color brick, and recent projects that use brick facades or interior brick elements effectively.