Subject to the forces of capital, migrating populations, and political circumstances, our planet’s cities are constantly evolving. This continuous evolution is evident in the built fabric of settlements, as architects and planners build upon layers of the built environment, with some having the strenuous task of having to integrate the historic urban areas of cities successfully with contemporary architectural interventions and systems.
The cities of this category are frequently in an internal conflict — oftentimes having to grapple with the sometimes contradictory aims of both sustaining local populations and welcoming outside investment and national development projects.
Imagine that you have scheduled a visit to an important building for the history of architecture, a reference work for all enthusiasts. Probably you would equip yourself with a camera or a good cell phone, take a pencil, notebook and even a measuring tape to record all its aspects.
However, this is not the only way to “visit” a building of historical importance nowadays or, at least, that is what some researchers are trying to show. The metaverse is being explored for its role in architecture and culture preservation, embracing different generations.
Chile has a rich and vast heritage architecture, which is gradually gaining relevance through different initiatives that seek to renovate these buildings to give them a second life. The buildings and infrastructures were in disrepair, disused, or damaged, but have great architectural value, being an important contribution to the reconstruction of the history of Chilean cities.
We often walk through the city without knowing the value of the buildings around us. In Chile, there is an architectural multiculturalism that has molded the cities with buildings that, to this day, are awarded a heritage title and are not recognized as such by the inhabitants and visitors.
My first encounter with saving a building landed me in handcuffs and a trip to the Long Beach Police Department. A friend and I were frustrated that our hometown was demolishing good buildings—because they did not conform with the current style of architecture—only to replace them with parking lots! All in the name of “progress.” In 1988, when we learned that the Jergins Trust Building, a Beaux-Arts beauty, was slated to be torn down with no plans for the site, we jumped into action and chained ourselves to the building to stop the wrecking crew. Our efforts kept it up for another four hours. And then it was gone forever.
This year, one of the winners of the Aga Khan Award was the Renovation of the Niemeyer Guest House by East Architecture Studio. The project is located on Tripoli’s outskirts in Lebanon, and it is part of the Rachid Karami International Fair (RKIF), an unfinished masterpiece by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. ArchDaily’s Managing Editor, Christele Harrouk had the chance to sit with Charles Kettaneh and Nicolas Fayad, founders of the East Architecture Studio, on-site in "the Niemeyer Guest House Renovation" project. Talking about modern heritage and the challenges of renovations, the architects opened the conversation about the role of architecture in building platforms for change.
The British magazine Time Out has selected Barrio Yungay in Santiago, Chile, as one of the most attractive neighborhoods in the world. The neighborhood was selected under the Time Out Index survey, where respondents from different countries answered the question "What is the most attractive place in your city at the moment?" and was ranked ninth out of a list of 51 neighborhoods, including Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Shimokitazawa in Tokyo and Cours Julien in Marseille.
Doreen Adengo, Ugandan architect and trailblazer, passed away on July the 22nd of this year, after battling a long-term illness. She founded Adengo Architecture, a studio based out of her home city of Kampala. A designer who studied in the United States, worked in firms in New York, Washington, and London, and was teaching at Uganda Martyrs University – her legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. It is a legacy that spans disciplines and geographies – but a legacy, too, that is deeply rooted in the context of Africa, Uganda, and Kampala.
In June 2020, the statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in the southwestern city of Bristol in England. Before this, the statue sat on a plinth in a prominent public park, before being hauled into Bristol Harbour by Black Lives Matter protestors. This act has led to a long-overdue reckoning in the UK and other Western nations, a reckoning that has necessitated a deeper analysis of monuments that line cities, and how deeply imperialism can be interlinked with parts of the built environment. The ever-green question is, what do we do with these buildings?
"in downtown New Delhi, huge curved structures sink in the ground, taking the form of a ramp. Amorphous voids mark the great twisted walls. The color red marks the structures and sets them apart from everything else."
This could describe a playground or even a skate park, but it is one of five astronomical observatories built in India between 1724 and 1738. These mazy volumes, which look more like a materialization of Escher's drawings, were conceived by the Indian prince Jai Singh as part of an ambitious project that sought to put architecture at the service of science. Their shapes make complex astronomical analysis possible, such as predicting eclipses, tracking the location of stars, and determining Earth's exact orbit around the Sun.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has expressed concern over the damage caused to historic landmarks in Ukraine and called for the protection of its cultural heritage. At the same time, the organization has taken action within its capabilities to help safeguard the endangered sites. Ukraine is home to seven World Heritage sites, including the 11th-century Saint-Sophia Cathedral and the entire ensemble of the Historic Centre of Lviv. In addition, several sites in the recently damaged cities of Kharkiv and Chernihiv were on the tentative list for potential nomination to World Heritage status.
It was designed and built between 1943 and 1946 by Amancio Williams and Delfina Galvez Bunge over the Las Chacras Stream in the city of Mar del Plata. It eventually became known as "The House on the River" or "The Bridge House". However, it ceased to have a stream, and thus to be a bridge, in 1957 when the watercourse on which it rested was interrupted for sanitation reasons. It was used as a radio station between 1970 and 1977, but the last military dictatorship in Argentina ended up shutting it down. It remained closed, maintained by its owner until their death in 1991. Studied by all, but cared for by none. It suffered two major fires, in 2004 and 2008. Abandoned during the whole succession process, it was recovered by the Municipality of General Pueyrredón in 2012.
How can the quality of architecture be protected, promoted and encouraged? A question on which progress was made today in Spain. On the 18th of January, the Council of Ministers approved the Draft Law on Quality in Architecture for its subsequent submission to the Spanish Parliament, thus initiating its parliamentary procedure.
This is a new legislative proposal, promoted by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, currently under the direction of Minister Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, who aims to protect, promote and encourage architectural quality as an asset of general interest, promoting links that encourage the rapprochement of architecture with society.
90Grados specialises in creating high-quality architectural renderings - and this time they present the virtual construction of a skyscraper that was left unfinished in New York after the Great Depression of 1929: the Metropolitan Life North Building.
In November 1930, in Indiana, United States, one of the great feats of modern engineering was executed: a team of architects and engineers moved an 11,000-ton (22-million pound) telephone exchange without ever suspending its operations either basic supplies for the 600 employees who worked inside.
Responsible use and consumption of natural resources and the impacts of the building industry have been ongoing concerns in the field of architecture and urban planning. In the past, concepts such as clean slates, mass demolitions, and building brand new structures were widely accepted and encouraged. Nowadays, a transformation seems to be taking place, calling for new approaches such as recycling, adaptive reuse, and renovations, taking advantage of what is already there. This article explores a selection of projects and provides a glimpse into interventions by renowned architects in pre-existing buildings.