February 20th marks a new edition of the World Day of Social Justice. The theme, "Overcoming barriers and unlocking opportunities", is a perfect occasion to reflect on the importance of equity in all areas of society - and especially from architecture and urbanism. And yes: they both have a fundamental role in building accessible cities and are important tools for addressing the challenges of economic inequality and social exclusion.
Latin America: The Latest Architecture and News
Between Architecture and Landscape: Contemporary Collective Housing in Latin America
What role does landscaping play in contemporary housing? In what ways can architecture and landscaping be integrated into a whole? Considering the incorporation of landscaping from the beginning of the architectural project has become a defining aspect and even a challenge for many architects, aiming to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and contribute to the protection and care of the environment.
On numerous occasions and within the Latin American setting, nature appears as a protagonist or founding principle of the proposed architectural design, involving reasons related to promoting the relationship with the surrounding environment, incorporating native species of the site, and enhancing the connection between the interior and exterior, among others. Although there are different ways of planning, organizing, and arranging the layout of environments in contemporary housing, the dialogue between architecture and landscape can collaborate with the uses, activities, and circulations determined based on the needs to be met or the users to be accommodated.
Exploring Contemporary Guatemalan Architecture
Guatemala is a country located in Central America that is organized into 22 departments, its capital and most populated city is Guatemala City. Mexico forms the geographic borders that contain this territory to the north and west, Belize and Honduras to the east, and El Salvador to the south. In addition, it faces the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Honduras. It is located in Mesoamerica, home to the Mayan culture, which extended to what we know today as Mexican territory. It is for this reason and for some other reasons related to migration issues that these two countries share similar traits in terms of climate and culture, which is highly enriching when we explore the development of the territory.
Circular Economy in Latin American Housing: 12 Examples of Reuse of Materials
Although the circular economy involves other principles such as the regeneration of natural systems, the reuse or recycling of materials plays an important role in contributing to the reduction of waste generation by giving a second useful life to elements that could be considered waste. Wood, metal sheets, bricks, and stones, among others, can be reused, bringing sustainability and efficiency criteria to the projects, helping to consolidate this concept that still has a long way to go.
Within the Latin American territory, many architecture professionals have proposed to apply in their design and construction processes the implementation of strategies that collaborate with the use of resources, either by reusing, recycling, or restoring different materials and elements in search of satisfying the needs and concerns of those who inhabit the spaces.
Arquitectonica and Its Latin American Contribution to Modernism
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Arquitectonica has refuted Koolhaas’ accusation that “Modern architecture had never achieved the promised alchemy of quantity and quality,” and Alistair Gordon’s enormous compendium of the firm’s work certainly disproves it.
But what of Rossi’s backhanded praise: “In America … quantity is quality!”? Although absolutely deserving of praise, the quantity of the work is not the basis for Arquitectonica’s achievement—even when associated with the virtuosity of design. The importance of Arquitectonica derives from certain specific contributions to modern architecture in the United States.
Pioneering Women Architects: From Latin America to Spain
What are the stories of the first Ibero-American women architects? This is the main question we seek to answer in celebration of ArchDaily's theme: Women in Architecture.
Seeking to put their motivations, inspirations, and trajectories on the table, we carried out a research project to make visible and highlight some names that have not had their deserved recognition. Meet Doris Clark Núñez, Guadalupe Ibarra, Matilde Ucelay Maórtua, Filandia Pizzul, Dora Riedel, Luz Amorocho, María Luisa Dehesa, Arinda da Cruz Sobral, and Julia Guarino, below.
Materials or Labor, What Should Cost More?
Architecture is often an ambitious profession, with many architects hoping to positively contribute to the social life of the communities, create emotional responses, and add moments of delight and solace to our daily experiences. However, market forces have a way of applying constant pressure on this field, often being the deciding factor in many design choices. Costs and economic value are generally a good indicator of how, when, and to what extent certain materials are being used: the standard rule is the cheaper, the better. But materials are only part of the equation. Site labor, management, and design costs are also considered, depicting a complex picture of the balance between the cost of materials and the cost of labor and its effect on the architectural product.
Culture and Architecture in America: Housing Projects in Pan-American Union Countries
The end of the 19th century in the Americas is marked by a wave of historical disputes and political transformations that have as a backdrop the search for a national identity. The period records a series of conflicts and disputes for the independence of what we now know as sovereign countries and republics. In this context, the Pan-American or Spanish-American movements emerged, which, despite having different political influences, aimed at the unification of all the territories of the American continent.
Houses in the Forest: Examples That Dialogue with the Environment in Latin America
What role do forests play in our daily lives? In what ways can they be converted into living spaces? What strategies can be implemented to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings? On the International Day of Forests, which is celebrated every 21st of March, this year we propose to raise awareness of the links between forests and our daily lives. Even though deforestation continues to advance, forests represent a source of great economic, social and ecological benefits.
“The Citizen Urbanism Claims an Alternative Urban Model From Latin America”: Ocupa Tu Calle’s Lucia Nogales
Lucía Nogales is the general coordinator of Ocupa tu Calle (Occupy your Street) —an UN-Habitat, Avina Foundation-supported initiative promoted by Lima Como Vamos— which focuses on 'citizen urbanism' for inclusive and resilient cities in Latin America.
Safdie Architects Reiterates the Ideals of Habitat 67 in Three New Projects
By now an architectural classic, Safdie’s Habitat ’67 represents a highly influential vision for a community-oriented, nature-infused urban housing model, and at the same time, a critical example of the possibilities of prefabrication. Fifty years after the design of Habitat ’67, Safdie is still exploring this vision of urban living, further developing the concept with projects such as Altair Residences, Qorner Tower and Habitat Qinhuangdao. Rooted in the architect’s motto - “for everyone a garden”, the new projects capitalise on outdoor terraces, natural light and ventilation, as well as communal spaces.
Ecological Design: Strategies to Protect Latin America and the Caribbean's Vulnerable Cities in the Face of Climate Change
Throughout the world's cities, in the midst of current and projected crises-- environmental, health, economic, and otherwise--one question looms: How can we prepare our urban centers' most vulnerable sectors?
Current data paints a bleak picture of cities and the impact of climate change. With urban populations skyrocketing as people around the globe seek opportunities for a better life in the world's urban centers, cities have become gluttons for energy and other resources while simultaneously producing more emissions than ever before. On top of this, 3 out of 5 cities are at high risk for natural disasters.
"There is a Relationship Between Narrative and Architecture": In Conversation with Emilio Marín and Rodrigo Sepúlveda, Cuartors of the Chilean Pavilion
Among the many topics explored at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, the idea of community has been at the forefront, with several national pavilions exploring its many manifestations, evolution, and its relationship with the future of built environments. ArchDaily met with the curators of Testimonial Spaces, Emilio Marín and Rodrigo Sepúlveda, the Chilean Pavilion at the Biennale, and discussed how the project tackled the question of the future of living together and how they bridged the stories from Santiago to Venice. The interview was conducted in Spanish but is provided with English subtitles.
Cloth and Linen Walls: Translucent and Weightless
Whether made from natural or synthetic fibers, textiles have played a part in architectural design since time immemorial; however, it wasn't until the era of industrialization and advancements in technology that high-quality textiles could be made and utilized en masse. Most often, they have been used to enclose temporary structures like medical tents and emergency housing thanks to their mobility and ease of assembly.
13 Emerging Trends Highlighted at the Biennial of Latin American Architecture (BAL 2021)
This year's Biennial of Latin American Architecture (BAL 2021) has chosen the top emerging works of architecture in Latin America, which will be presented during the second installment of the event in September 2021 in Pamplona, Spain.