aerial view of the Amazon river

Architecture

Spring/Summer 2010 | Volume IX, Number 2

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

History

A Tale of Three Buildings

A Tale of Three Buildings

Greek columns, in Thomas Jefferson’s designs for the University of Virginia, might evoke democracy. In Albert Speer’s designs for Berlin during the Third Reich, similar columns serve to…

Productive Workers for the Nation

Productive Workers for the Nation

In 1954, Colombian architect Alberto Valencia took a short trip to the small town of Anolaima, two hours away from Bogotá. An architect at the Inter-American Housing Center—a joint project…

A Practice in Full

A Practice in Full

Oscar Niemeyer’s gaze reveals nothing as the ten of us make our way through the throng of architecture students towards the rows of seats that fan out from his facing central chair. Loosely…

Havana Modern

Havana Modern

When you think of Havana and architecture, you may envision Old Havana’s restored colonial buildings. Through the notable efforts of the Office of the City Historian, hundreds of structures…

Brasilia

Brasilia

Dislocating the capital to Brazil’s interior highlands is a long standing project in the country’s history. The project was first linked to the transfer of the royal court from Lisbon to Portuguese…

Thinking Spaces, Urban Places

Working in the Antipodes

Working in the Antipodes

I was asked by ReVista to write an article on my own work, specifically about the fact that I do simultaneous work on social housing and high-profile architectural projects, something that is, to…

Three Tall Buildings

Three Tall Buildings

I used to hate the three tall towers that thrust against the verdant mountains. I used to think that the red brick towers dug into the landscape, belonging to some other city and some other space, created a scar of modernity…

Mexico City, Again

Mexico City, Again

After seven years of graduate school, first in London and then at Harvard, I finally came back to Mexico City, my hometown. During the summer months, with the generous support of a DRCLAS…

On Haiti

On Haiti

Emergency and planning become one word. While dealing with emergency in Haiti, planning for the future must take place simultaneously…

Fables of Reconstruction

Fables of Reconstruction

On May 3, 2008, the 5,000 villagers in the small but thriving town of Chaitén, Chile, were awakened by the fierce eruption of the volcano of the same name just three miles to the north…

Diadema, SP, Brazil

Diadema, SP, Brazil

Prestigious British magazine The Economist recently featured Brazilian business and finance in a 14-page special report. Under the headline “Brazil takes off,” an article entitled “A better today”…

Designing Urban Opportunities

Designing Urban Opportunities

magine a gaggle of eight-year-olds chasing each other on a playground they helped design themselves. Imagine an enthusiastic team of teenagers trying to kick a ball just like their soccer…

On Conflict Resolution

On Conflict Resolution

Throughout Latin America, divisions and conflicts in the first decade of the 21st century have separated countries, communities, friends and family members, adding to the polarization and…

Living the Environment

The (Not Yet) Dialogue Project

The (Not Yet) Dialogue Project

So I have another sip of my coffee while looking out and enjoying the Chilean view. From here the city movement below seems to be in slow motion. The view is kind of foggy, not very crisp…

Modernity in Peru

Modernity in Peru

When one thinks of Peru, one might think of colonial plazas or the splendid pre-Columbian Incan masterpiece of Macchu Picchu…

Latinotopia

Latinotopia

The Moors settled, lived and thrived in southern Spain for 700 years. Puerto Ricans have settled, lived, and thrived in New York City for almost 100 years now. With 600 more years to go, the…

Extreme Architecture

Extreme Architecture

While visiting family in Chile in December 2009 I decided to find out about new architectural developments here. I discovered that construction of the Costanera Center project had…

Difference and Repetition

Difference and Repetition

Although jocular in tone the remark by Robert E. Somol, a leading architecture critic and historian, alludes to the status of the Argentines as a distinct group in architectural culture. The…

Beyond Nature

Beyond Nature

The Parque del Este in Caracas, Venezuela, was designed by noted Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994). Built between 1956 and 1961, it opened at a critical time in…

Autonomy Revisited

Autonomy Revisited

Not so long ago settlements and dwellings throughout the globe were altogether autonomous, dependent only on nature’s shifting generosity and relying on effectively and intelligently making…

Making a Difference

Book Talk

Consolidating Mexico’s Democracy

Consolidating Mexico’s Democracy

On Mexico’s presidential election night, July 2, 2006, I stood with reporters in a brightly lit room in the Federal Electoral Institute, the sprawling nerve center located in Mexico City’s outskirts. The…