We know you're an architecture aficionado and that your passion takes you places that inspire and awe. Even though a visit to the classic tourist sites can result in an amazing trip, visiting lesser-known places can make for an unforgettable experience. It is because of this passion for parts unknown that we have compiled this list of some of Latin America's hidden architecture gems for you to consider as you plan your next trip.
Mexican Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
The city of Merida –capital of the Yucatan state in Mexico– is a region that has experienced a rise in architectural development in recent years due to the emerging talent that has made a name for itself with national awards and biennial proposals throughout the country. Due to Merida's tropical climate, the architecture on this site corresponds to specific geographical conditions that make it one of the most visited destinations in the world.
The presence of Mexican architecture on the global scene is increasingly evident and strengthened by the ambassador architects who constantly represent Mexico in international events and exhibitions. Within these samples, you are able to see a constant concern to show contemporary values that denote a sense of responsibility, reinventing their own identity with the urgency of addressing current challenges.
The Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao – founder of the architecture firm based in Mexico City Tatiana Bilbao Estudio – has been awarded the eighth Marcus Prize. This recognition has been given to different world-renowned architects as Jeanne Gang (2017), Joshua Ramus (2015), Sou Fujimoto (2013), Diébédo Francis Kéré (2011), Alejandro Aravena (2010), Frank Barkow (2007), Winy Maas (2005) and seeks to recognize architects from all over the world whose trajectory is on the rise.
'A quien corresponda' is an exhibition at the Kirkland Gallery at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, which emerges as a call within another. Being aware of the scarcity of opportunities for exhibition and appreciation of design in Mexico, an open invitation extended to practices dedicated to architecture, design and / or art interested in showing their work in an area of 0.0588m2 (the area of one leaf letter) within the space of the gallery, taking advantage of the opportunity to appropriate the gallery in a period of two weeks.
One of the most important factors when designing is the specific climate of the site, this can represent a difficulty when dealing with extreme climates and it is necessary to use insulating materials that adapt to changing conditions. However, when talking about Mexico and its privileged climate, this becomes an advantage for architects, allowing the creation of microclimates and spaces that fade into the transition of what is the inside and the outside.
Colonia Roma, a neighborhood in Mexico City, is well known among locals for its art galleries, restaurants, bookstores and museums - it is a hotspot of contemporary art and culture. However, this cultural tradition actually dates back to the Porfirian Era in the early twentieth century. The area was a way to present Mexico City as a modern city by creating the first colony, along with Colonia Condesa, with all basic services available to the residents. Drawn with Parisian boulevards and tree-lined streets, Roma is an exemplar of art nouveau architecture, eclectic and French-ified – an attractive area that immediately led to the arrival of wealthy families.
After having previously photographed the architecture offices in the Netherlands, Dubai, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, the Nordic countries, Barcelona and Los Angeles, the architectural photographer Marc Goodwin continues the series with an exploration of some of the most recognized architecture offices in Mexico. With a set of emerging and world-renowned offices alike, the series offers insight into the lives of designers in Mexico City.
One of the most important factors when designing is the specific climate of the site. This can often present challenges when dealing with extreme climates and it is necessary to use insulating materials that adapt to changing conditions. However, Mexico and its privileged climate can be in an architect's favor. Here, architects can create microclimates and spaces that blur the transition of inside and outside.
A quintessential characteristic of Mexican culture — in addition to its architecture and rich pre-Colombian identity — is its gastronomy. In 2010, UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list inscribed Mexican Traditional Cuisine. The foundation remarked that "their knowledge and techniques express community identity, reinforce social bonds, and build stronger local, regional and national identities." However, from Mole to Birria and Pozole to Cochinita Pibil, the most iconic, versatile, and tasty meal is the taco.
In honor of Mexico's rich history, tradition, and food, take a look at 7 taquerias that can inspire your next project.
Mexico is a country known globally for its traditional and contemporary architectural elements. The construction techniques characteristic of each region and the use of materials according to thermic, economic, or aesthetic needs result in unique spaces.
Bamboo as a constructive or decorative element, coating, facade, or roof has proven its superiority over materials such as plastic and steel.
While it is true that research on this material has advanced significantly in recent years, we know that there is still much to learn. Many architects are seeking knowledge from the past to apply to their current techniques. Below, we've selected a list of 8 Mexican projects that explore the use of bamboo in the hands of architects and artisans.
Design House, which is held annually within the framework of Design Week Mexico, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. In this year's edition, 24 local designers and architects transformed an abandoned home, each restoring a room or outdoor area. One of these interventions, by Broissin Architects, reconstructed the outdoor patio into a micro-forest with the small, glass house placed on a centenary ash tree.
In response to calls for a larger space, the Santiago Apostle Cathedral is the proposed home for the Queretaro Diocese. The proposed building lies on a 20,000 square meter plot of land on the city's south central side. The project aims to turn the building into not only a new religious and community space, but also an architectural icon for the city.
The project's design is based on a guiding axis that points towards the rising sun. The nave's geometry begins in the circle and then spreads throughout the structure from the principal entrance all the way towards the altar. The cathedral's roof is made up of a grand staircase that also houses a reflection pool.
This Company Designed a House Out of Seaweed with 50% Fewer Resources Than the Average Social Housing Project
Over the past few months, Quintana Roo's coast has been overtaken by an invasion of seaweed that has put the locals to work cleaning up the beaches as the weeds wash ashore. The work is an exhausting day-to-day ordeal and while the cause of the invasion is still unknown, many point to the changes in climate impacting the Atlantic Ocean.
Currently, over 60 tons of seaweed has been gathered from the coast and locals are already putting the plants to good use as raw materials for biodigestors, cosmetics, plastics, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals. However, another use for seaweed has recently come to the public's attention.
Founded by Juan Benavides in 2014, FILMATICA is an architectural film studio dedicated to making videos with a curatorial focus. The selection of projects is carried out in order to empathize with the formal interests of the studio, responding to aesthetic spatial conditions surrounded by powerful landscapes. With this in mind, FILMATICA makes a series of narratives that highlight architecture, time, movement, and our journey through the world. Below, a compilation of videos of contemporary architectural works narrated through the lens of Juan Benavides and the FILMATICA team.
Wood has been an indispensable material in the history of civilization. Different regions from around the world have used it for specific climatic conditions. Mexico, as we have mentioned on several occasions, is an extensive country where different climates, resources and ways of life fit. Therefore the application of wood in architecture has been developed in a number of ways, from its structural use to produce roofs for Mayan huts to projects that seek to revive vernacular architecture.
While the handling of this material is difficult due to its specific detail management, it presents a multitude of benefits from its aesthetic appeal, air circulation, and even smell. Take a look at 16 Mexican projects that use wood in wondrous ways.
In 2001, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) created an initiative called "Pueblo Mágico/Magical Town." This program seeks to highlight towns around the country that offer a unique and "magical experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural richness, traditions, folklore, historical relevance, cuisine, arts & crafts, and hospitality."
You can find SECTUR's "Magical Town" definition here.
A town that through time and before modernity, was conserved, valued and defended for its historical, cultural and natural heritage; and manifests in it various expressions through its tangible and intangible heritage. A "Magical Town" is a locality that has unique, symbolic attributes, authentic stories, transcendent facts, daily life, which means a great opportunity for tourism, taking into account the motivations and needs of travelers.