This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Countries that are part of the so-called “global south” have undergone many transformations in their cities and urban contexts in recent years due to the economic and social challenges they face. Urban growth, sustainable development, quality of life and health in emerging cities, and the development of their own cultural identity have been some of the issues that local architecture had to incorporate.
Young architects have understood the importance of making an architecture that is deeply rooted in their own territory while giving this architecture a clear local identity. By generating new typologies and using their own resources and materials, they have presented innovative, site-specific and, above all, solutions with a new fresh focus towards what represents them as creators of this architecture.
In a discourse about the future of cities, one could be forgiven for limiting their geographical scope to innovations in Europe, the United States, and increasingly, China and Southeast Asia. After all, Shenzhen is about to once again host the world’s only Biennale dedicated exclusively to urbanization, while smart, responsive architecture manifests in visions for cities such as Toronto and London, and tech giants such as Microsoft and Siemens. However, despite our preoccupation with the problems and opportunities of urbanization in the ‘Global North’, and the architectural innovations they herald, there is merit in expanding our horizons – and not just towards Mars. By the end of the century, none of the world’s largest 20 cities will be in China, Europe, or the Americas. Africa, meanwhile, will host 13 out of 20, including the top 3.
The 2A Continental Architectural Award was founded to pay tribute to the living architect or architects whose architecture and artwork exhibits a blend of those qualities of ability, vision, flair, and dedication. Under the leadership of Ahmad Zohadi, who is head of organizing committee and also an Architecture Scholar himself 2ACAA strives to achieve the vision of cultural integration, honor the architecture and architects that may have produced regular and noteworthy contributions to the human race and the built environment by making use of art and architecture.
Iran’s architecture has long been rooted in Persian culture. From tea houses and pavilions to domestic huts and elaborate mosques, the country’s built environment is tied to these influences, as well as the landscape and its broader context. At the heart of Iran’s more recent projects is a desire to reinterpret history through new spaces and forms.
ArchDaily had a chance to visit Alfredo Thiermann (ThiermannCruz) at his Berlin studio, to learn more about his work at the intersection of practice, research, and his passion for music. Alfredo studied architecture in Chile at Universidad Católica, and received his Master's degree from Princeton. He started his practice at an early stage with a series of experimental small scale projects, the "artifacts", always in collaboration with diverse professionals. From scenographies to acoustic installations, these artifacts are structures that carry a meaning, for when "building something becomes necessary to understand a broader situation, a situation that you cannot describe through other means, you need to embody it, and therefore this construction becomes a condensation of political, cultural trajectories that each of these projects wanted to tell."
Vietnam has a rich history of traditional architecture. From Rong houses and Trinh Tuong residences to the stilt longhouses of the Ede people, the country has a depth of vernacular construction methods and styles. Today, architects are reinterpreting past building techniques to create neo-traditional homes grounded in contemporary life.
South Africa’s architecture is defined by a multicultural history. Located at the southernmost tip of the continent, the county has built upon past traditions and building techniques in a range of modern architecture and cultural projects. These structures showcase new design approaches in South Africa and experiment with diverse formal and spatial strategies.