Architecture, by its very definition, involves the construction of structures. Structures that are meant to serve as spaces for work, living, religious devotion, amongst many other purposes. Architectural projects and interventions, however, need land – and it is this intrinsic relationship, between land and architecture, that has massive ramifications not only regarding reducing carbon emissions but more importantly in forming an equitable future rooted in climate justice.
South America: The Latest Architecture and News
Almost 80% of South America is tropical land. In Peru, close to two-thirds is covered by the Amazon rainforest, more than in any other country. These landscape conditions give rise to unique living conditions, and in turn, shape Peru’s contemporary architecture. Today, new homes are built to embrace nature and create space for everyday life.
This year, the Bahá’í Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto was selected as the winner of the 2019 RAIC International Prize, by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). The prize celebrates a “single work of architecture that is judged to be transformative within its societal context and expressive of the humanistic values of justice, respect, equality, and inclusiveness”.
The American Institute of Architects Committee on Design is holding its first South American conference this week in Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile. Starting on October 20 and running through the 27th, the conference is organized by the Copperbridge Foundation in collaboration with Chilean Constructo and Massantiago. The CoD conference will include a focus on each city's contemporary architecture and urban fabric, as well as tours, presentations and exhibitions with Chilean institutions.
Soon to become the tallest building in Quito, IQON is Bjarke Ingels Group's first project to be built in South America. Currently undergoing construction, the largely residential building is a curved tower with gradually protruding balconies. Encased between the dense city and the park, the self-dubbed "urban tree farm" aims not only to encompass the surrounding views of the volcanoes and nature beyond but also to integrate the landscape within the building itself.
Marking almost 200 years since Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, we will journey to the Chiloé Archipelago in northern Patagonia and re-explore this remote area through fieldwork, relishing the opportunity to investigate an outdoor laboratory.
It's difficult to imagine an uncharted world. Today, GPS and satellite maps guide us around cities both familiar and new, while scanning and mapping techniques are gradually drawing the last air of mystery away our planet's remaining unexplored territories. At one time, however, cartography was based on little more than anecdotal evidence and a series of educated guesses. But map-making in the 16th and 17th Centuries was an art nonetheless, even if these examples testify to the fact that just because you're missing important facts, total fabrication may not be the best way forward.
Felipe Correa’s latest book “Beyond the City: Resource Extraction Urbanism in South America” takes us to a region that architects and urban designers typically have neglected—the hinterland. The South American hinterland provides a unique subject of analysis as it has typically been urbanized for its natural resources, which are tethered back to the coastal cities where these resources are either consumed or distributed to global markets. Within this context, the hinterland is viewed as a frontier whose wilderness is to be tamed, put to work, and territorialized through infrastructure and urban design. Beyond the City provides an insightful look into these processes and the unique urban experiments that emerged in South America. Organized by five case studies, Beyond the City is tied together by what Correa has termed “resource extraction urbanism,” which he links to “new and experimental urban identities in the context of government-sponsored resource extraction frontiers.” Written as a lucid historical account that anchors the discussion within the political, economic, and social context, as well as within global design discourse, the book is also projective—setting the table for a series of questions on how design can act in these landscapes.