Category: Architectura

Architecture: Editor’s Letter

For years, readers have been commenting on the printed edition of ReVista: “How beautiful!” Now here’s a website to match, thanks to the efforts of the design firm 2communiqué and Kit Barron of DRCLAS. It’s not only a question of reflecting the aesthetics of the printed…

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

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…

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

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

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…

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

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

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…

Making a Difference: Insect Lessons

Juan José was the first to spot the katydid’s quivering antenna, then suddenly he made a quick grab and the green, squirming insect was his. One advantage to this tropical place is being…

Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

In the natural and social sciences, as in any other scholarly discipline, certain researchers become intimately associated with the study of particular topics. Think about Walter Álvarez and…

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…

On Haiti

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

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…

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…

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…

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

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…

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