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Latin America: The Latest Architecture and News

These Are The 20 Most Livable Cities in Latin America in 2019

04:00 - 31 May, 2019
These Are The 20 Most Livable Cities in Latin America in 2019, © byvalet / Shutterstock. ImageMontevideo, Uruguay
© byvalet / Shutterstock. ImageMontevideo, Uruguay

Vienna, Austria has been ranked as the city with the best quality of life in the world for ten consecutive years. The ranking made by multinational consultancy Mercer is dominated by Western European cities in the highest positions, while Vancouver, Canada reached third place, becoming the highest-ranking city in North America for the last 10 years.

Anti-Patterns of Social Housing in Latin America

06:30 - 15 April, 2019
Anti-Patterns of Social Housing in Latin America, <a href='https://www.plataformaarquitectura.cl/cl/893152/paraisos-siniestros-fotografias-aereas-de-vivienda-de-interes-social-el-mexico'>Paraísos Siniestros: vivienda de interés social en México</a>. Image © Jorge Taboada
Paraísos Siniestros: vivienda de interés social en México. Image © Jorge Taboada

Continuing the series of articles developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andres M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy, and Ernesto Philibert-Petit, in this article we'll be exploring how observations on social housing in Latin American have been approached from an outdated and antagonistic point of view. Notions and errors committed in previous studies - in some cases simply by inertia - are discussed in the Latin American context, and propose adaptable solutions focused on the long-term, urban roots of residents.

Socially-Organized Housing: Design That Establishes Emotional Ownership

08:30 - 23 March, 2019
Socially-Organized Housing: Design That Establishes Emotional Ownership, Vila Matilde House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Pedro Kok
Vila Matilde House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Pedro Kok

Developed by Nikos A. Salingaros, David Brain, Andrés M. Duany, Michael W. Mehaffy, and Ernesto Philibert-Petit, this series of articles offers here a set of evidence-based optimal practices for social housing, applicable in general situations. Varying examples are discussed in a Latin American context. Adaptive solutions work towards long-term sustainability and help to attach residents to their built environment.

They propose, then, new insights in complexity science, and in particular the work of Christopher Alexander on how to successfully evolve urban form. By applying the conceptual tools of “Pattern Languages” and “Generative Codes”, these principles support previous solutions derived by others, which were never taken forward in a viable form. 

The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019

08:30 - 4 February, 2019
The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019, © Alberto Cosi. ImageBamboo Sports Hall for Panyaden International School / Chiangmai Life Construction
© Alberto Cosi. ImageBamboo Sports Hall for Panyaden International School / Chiangmai Life Construction

It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.

Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends. 

The Technology Before the Wheel: A Brief History of Dry Stone Construction

09:30 - 25 August, 2018
The Technology Before the Wheel: A Brief History of Dry Stone Construction, © Fabricio Guzmán
© Fabricio Guzmán

A collection of stones piled one on top of the other, dry stone is an iconic building method found just nearly everywhere in the world. Relying solely on an age-old craft to create sturdy, reliable structures and characterised by its rustic, interlocking shapes, the technique has deep roots that stretch back even before the invention of the wheel. Its principles are simple: stack the stones to create a unified, load-bearing wall. But the efficient, long-lasting results, coupled with the technique’s cultural significance, have lead to continued use and updated interpretations all the way to contemporary architecture today.

© <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Broch_of_Mousa_-_geograph.org.uk_-_2800.jpg'>Anne Burgess</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 11

What Makes a City Livable to You?

09:30 - 28 April, 2018
© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/132839384@N08/17241901246'>Flickr user Hafitz Maulana</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. ImageA music festival in Singapore
© Flickr user Hafitz Maulana licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. ImageA music festival in Singapore

Mercer released their annual list of the Most Livable Cities in the World last month. The list ranks 231 cities based on factors such as crime rates, sanitation, education and health standards, with Vienna at #1 and Baghdad at #231. There’s always some furor over the results, as there ought to be when a city we love does not make the top 20, or when we see a city rank highly but remember that one time we visited and couldn’t wait to leave.

To be clear, Mercer is a global HR consultancy, and their rankings are meant to serve the multinational corporations that are their clients. The list helps with relocation packages and remuneration for their employees. But a company’s first choice on where to send their workers is not always the same place you’d choose to send yourself to.

And these rankings, calculated as they are, also vary depending on who’s calculating. Monocle publishes their own list, as does The Economist, so the editors at ArchDaily decided to throw our hat in as well. Here we discuss what we think makes cities livable, and what we’d hope to see more of in the future.

Winners of the LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 for Latin America Focus on Water Management

06:00 - 15 December, 2017
Winners of the LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 for Latin America Focus on Water Management

As we face a global climate crisis that must be addressed, sustainability has quickly become one of the most crucial aspects to consider in contemporary architecture. Designs that go beyond current standards, showcasing sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues have arisen in recent years, garnering much-deserved praise for the innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions they propose.

The LafargeHolcim Awards stands out as the world's most significant competition for sustainable design. The criteria of the USD 2 million competition are as challenging as the goal of sustainability itself. The competition is for projects at an advanced stage of design, not finished works.

Open Call for ARCHMARATHON 2017, Americas

12:01 - 12 June, 2017
Open Call for ARCHMARATHON 2017, Americas

ARCHMARATHON 2017 is an event dedicated to the world of design that focuses attention on architecture and interior design in Canada, USA, Central and Latin America. The Open Call for the ARCHMARATHON 2017 to be held from October 12th to the 14th, 2017 at the Miami Beach Faena Hotel and Faena Forum is now open.

86% of the Most Dangerous Cities are in This Part of the World

08:00 - 11 May, 2017
86% of the Most Dangerous Cities are in This Part of the World, © <a href='https://500px.com/photo/211107851/untitled-by-magdalena-Roeseler'>500px user Magdalena Roesler</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/'>CC BY 3.0</a>
© 500px user Magdalena Roesler licensed under CC BY 3.0

For the past fifteen years, global headlines have depicted, through harrowing imagery, the effects of war on cities across the Middle East. An inevitable fracturing of law and order leads to an explosion of crime which we imagine could not be tolerated in a region at peace. However, when cities in war zones are set aside, an overwhelming yet underreported narrative emerges – 86% of the world’s most dangerous cities are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

InterLumi Panama 2017

17:05 - 26 September, 2016
InterLumi Panama 2017

InterLumi Panama, the global lighting trade show organized by America Expo Group, will be held at ATLAPA Convention Center in Panama from 29 June to 1 July, 2017. Serving the Latin American & the Caribbean countries, InterLumi Panama is positioned to be an effective tool to stimulate the development of the region’s lighting industry as well as provide a gateway for exhibitors to tap into this emerging market.

Architects Who Make Hope Visible (for the Community and for the Profession)

08:00 - 12 November, 2015
Architects Who Make Hope Visible (for the Community and for the Profession), Espacio de Paz project in Punta Arenas, Venezuela (2015). Image © Veo Productores
Espacio de Paz project in Punta Arenas, Venezuela (2015). Image © Veo Productores

Continuing with our coverage of Espacios de Paz 2015 (Spaces for Peace) in Venezuela, Plataforma Arquitectura Editor José Tomás Franco reflects on the crisis of the architect who approaches his work abstractly -- without taking into consideration the unique problems and issues of the territory -- and on the strengthening of a collective architecture, that is honest and efficient, not only benefitting the affected communities but also, indirectly, revolutionizing the way we architects do our jobs.

In times of crisis, the need for progress forces us into action. While pressing issues in Latin America generate instances to improve the quality of life in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, architects, which are plentiful in the region, seem pressured to broaden their scope and search for new fertile spaces to work in. This meeting of forces not only translates into a real contribution to a particular community, but also subtly reveals a change in the way in which we practice architecture.

Faced with the highly complex task of meeting the urgent needs of people with limited resources, Latin American architects have been obliged to work based on efficiency and teamwork, recovering key skills and using them to help other human beings. Skills that are essential for showing that our work is fundamental, and not only in the cities' forgotten neighborhoods.

Why do Latin American architects seem to be returning to their roots?

Espacio de Paz project in Punta Arenas, Venezuela (2015). Image © Veo Productores Espacio de Paz project in Punta Arenas, Venezuela (2015). Image © Veo Productores Espacio de Paz project in Punta Arenas, Venezuela (2015). Image © Veo Productores Espacio de Paz project in Punta Arenas, Venezuela (2015). Image © Veo Productores + 10

AR Issues: Has Architecture Lost its Social Conscience?

09:30 - 20 July, 2015
AR Issues: Has Architecture Lost its Social Conscience?, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the June 2015 issue, The AR's editor Christine Murray addresses the question:"has architecture lost its social conscience?" According to Murray, "the question has become an arthritis; a dull ache that improves or worsens depending on the weather."

For some, the social purpose of architecture is associated with the idealism of youth, to be shed like a snakeskin as the responsibilities of age take over. But there is still plenty of teeth gnashing and hand wringing. Even if architects are powerless to shape the economic and political context of their work, a building is still a place where people gather. A social purpose, whether for a school or an office tower, is still the driver of its design. And yet, when the paperwork and construction are done, the bureaucracy surmounted, the fees paid (or not), and a building is finally complete, it’s the people we strip away. When architecture is published and the critic’s verdict given, it’s the messiness of life we edit out. 

MoMA's Barry Bergdoll On "The Politics And Poetics Of Developmentalism" In Latin American Architecture

17:30 - 1 May, 2015
MoMA's Barry Bergdoll On "The Politics And Poetics Of Developmentalism" In Latin American Architecture, Eladio Dieste. Church in Atlantida, Uruguay, 1958. Image © Leonardo Finotti
Eladio Dieste. Church in Atlantida, Uruguay, 1958. Image © Leonardo Finotti

On display until July 19th, MoMA's exhibition "Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980" is an attempt to bring the architecture of this global region, and this time period, to a greater audience after decades of neglect by the architectural establishment. Curated by Barry Bergdoll, the exhibition effectively follows on from MoMA's last engagement with the topic of Latin American architecture, way back in 1955 with Henry-Russell Hitchcock's exhibition "Latin American Architecture Since 1945." In an intriguing interview, Bergdoll sits down with Metropolis Magazine to talk about why he is revisiting the topic after so many years (or, indeed, why MoMA took so long to do so), and explains his ambitions to elevate the featured works and to frame Latin America itself as "not simply as a place where the pupils of Le Corbusier went to build, but a place of origins of ideas." Read the full interview here.

Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980

06:00 - 6 March, 2015
Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980, Affonso Eduardo Reidy. Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1934-1947. ©Núcleo de Documentação e Pesquisa – Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Affonso Eduardo Reidy. Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1934-1947. ©Núcleo de Documentação e Pesquisa – Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

In 1955 the Museum of Modern Art staged Latin American Architecture since 1945, a landmark survey of modern architecture in Latin America. On the 60th anniversary of that important show, the Museum returns to the region to offer a complex overview of the positions, debates, and architectural creativity from Mexico and Cuba to the Southern Cone between 1955 and the early 1980s.

More about Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980, opening at MoMA on March 29th, after the break.

 Miguel Rodrigo Mazuré (Peruvian, 1926–2014). (Peruvian, 1926–2014). Hotel in Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu (Project). 1969. Perspective. © Archivo Miguel Rodrigo Mazuré  Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. Plaza of the three powers, Brasilia, Brazil, 1958-1960. Photograph: Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti  National School of Plastic Arts, Havana, Cuba, Ricardo Porro, 1961-1965. © Archivo Vittorio Garatti Brasilia under construction, 1957. Geofoto. Arquivo Publico do Distrito Federal + 6

12 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Latin America

01:00 - 6 October, 2014
12 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Latin America, GOLD: Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park (Medellin, Colombia) . Image Courtesy of  the Holcim Foundation
GOLD: Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park (Medellin, Colombia) . Image Courtesy of the Holcim Foundation

Teams from Mexico and Colombia have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Latin America, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winners is a Colombian water reservoir turned public park and low-impact timber rainforest center in Costa Rica.

The 12 recognized projects will share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards, to be selected in 2015.

The full list of Latin American winners, after the break…

AD Round Up: Latin American Houses Part I

18:30 - 22 May, 2009
AD Round Up: Latin American Houses Part I

Last week we featured a Round Up of houses from the United States. So for you to start comparing different architecture at different places, we bring you our first Round Up of previously featured houses from Latin America.