Three pyramids in one: Mayan Kukulkan pyramid is an architectural "Russian nesting doll"
Once, twice, three times a pyramid: thanks to non-invasive scanning, archaeologists have determined that "El Castilo," also known as the Kukulkan pyramid in Chichen Itza, has two other pyramids inside of it. As The Guardian explains:"A 10-metre-tall pyramid was found within another 20-metre... View full entry
Javier Senosiain's low-income "bio-architecture" housing proposal
Forming a closer, more harmonious bond between humanity and nature is the underlying goal of Javier Senosiain's organic or so-called "bio-architecture." His buildings often take the shape of organic forms--in one case, mythic serpent Quetzalcoatl--while simultaneously harvesting rainwater and... View full entry
Uber takes to the skies with a new advertising strategy in Mexico DF
Mexico City is notorious for its gridlock (and the smog it produces). The ride-sharing platform Uber has taken advantage of this captive audience with an unusual advertising medium: drones.As reported by Bloomberg, Uber has sent off a fleet of sign-bearing drones to hover over windshields... View full entry
Architecture and the Wall: Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman on the US-Mexico Border
..We must expose rather than mask the institutional mechanisms driving uneven urban development. Such a revelation requires a corresponding expansion of our understanding of the scope of architecture itself—can we design human rights, for example? Can social justice become an architectural protocol? In other words, the most important materials with which architects must learn to work are not steel and concrete but critical knowledge of the underlying conditions that produce today’s urban crises.
— Art Forum
The article makes reference to the controversy generated a few months ago over a competition to design Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposed border wall between the US and Mexico. The editors of Bustler, Archinect's sister site, decided not to host the competition due... View full entry
Battle rages over a public sculpture in Mexico City
It is a simple sculpture: 64 concrete pyramids that stand in a perfect circle around two-and-a-half acres of rippling, black volcanic rock.
Known as “Espacio Escultórico” (“Sculptural Space”), the sculpture was inaugurated in 1979 here on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. It is considered one of the most important pieces of land art in Mexico, a tranquil oasis in a chaotic city.
— the New York Times
"But the recent construction of a white eight-story building nearby has prompted a furious protest that pits the university’s needs against Mexico’s cultural heritage."For more news from the Distrito Federal, check out these links:How one architect is working to fix Mexico... View full entry
Dispatch from the Venice Biennale: rewarding obscurity
Much will be published over the coming days about the Biennale's national pavilion winners—Spain’s “Unfinished” (with the Golden Lion) and Japan’s “en: Art of Nexus” and Peru’s “Our Amazon Frontline” (with special mentions). It is a phenomenon that conceals the terrain... View full entry
Inside Aravena's open source plans for low-cost yet upgradable housing
After Alejandro Aravena accepted the Pritzker Prize yesterday, his firm Elemental released four open source plans for low income housing that, according to the firm's website, balance the constraints of "low-rise high density, without overcrowding, with possibility of expansion (from social... View full entry
How one architect is working to fix Mexico City's faulty water supply infrastructure
'Mexico City’s water system goes against its own functional essence. The city is dehydrating itself. We’re mixing our water with poisonous waste and then pumping it out through a complex network of pipes. Just like what happens when a human is dehydrated, Mexico City has diarrhea.' — Elias Cattan
"In a mega-metropolis with a deep history of corrupt leaders and state-sanctioned misinformation, [architect Elias Cattan of Taller 13] believes awareness is the first step. That’s why he’s part of a growing movement of environmental scientists, activists, designers and engineers determined to... View full entry
US/Mexico border wall competition provokes controversy
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump dominated another round of primaries last night...further securing his position as the party’s frontrunner. His polemical campaign continues to provoke criticism from both his own party and from Democrats, as concern over his inflammatory, xenophobic and sexist rhetoric transforms into panic. The debate breached into architecture after a competition was announced last week for design responses to Trump’s call for a wall along the US/Mexico border.
Bustler, Archinect's sister site, declined the opportunity to post a competition calling for design responses to Donald Trump's calls for a border wall, which has since generated a good deal of controversy. Read about why – then join the debate on Bustler.For related content, check out these... View full entry
There's now a pedestrian bridge on the U.S.-Mexico border that let's you fly into Tijuana, and walk out into San Diego
A purple pedestrian bridge between two terminals that link Tijuana International Airport and San Diego over the U.S.-Mexico border opened to passengers Wednesday morning.
The Cross Border Xpress is the first project to join a site in the U.S. with a foreign airport terminal. [...]
The $120-million private venture aims to serve about 2.4 million fliers each year who usually would have to queue up in busy border crossings at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa on the California side.
As the U.S. loses more Mexican immigrants than it gains, the construction industry must adapt
The number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has declined. In 2014, 5.6 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico lived in the U.S., down by about 1 million since 2007. [...]
Mexican unauthorized immigrants are more likely than unauthorized immigrants overall to work in the construction industry ... Among Mexican unauthorized immigrants ages 16 and older who were employed in 2012, 19% worked in construction and 13% worked in a wide range of businesses
The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the trend of declining Mexican-born workers in the U.S. construction industry, leading to a total loss of half a million laborers since 2007. According to a Pew Research Study in "Hispanic Trends" from March of 2015, citing the most recent data... View full entry
Building a new architecture school in, and for, Tijuana: "I wanted to be right in the middle of things."
"We want students to be able to build — to go to a building or a plaza and be able to analyze what works and what doesn't. And we want them to work within the social context, in this case, of Tijuana."
"Tijuana is our laboratory," says Enrique González Silva, the school's founding academic director. "The idea of the program is that the students understand the reality of being an architect here." [...]
"The theory is very important. But we want students to be able to design and build."
More on Tijuana's developing architectures:Minimalist Homes Rise in Tijuana as Violence SubsidesEl futuro necesita imaginarse; Tijuana, Edgelands and Network cultureRethinking the U.S./Mexico Border Fence View full entry
Cutting across the Chicago Architecture Biennial: Tatiana Bilbao's solution to Mexico's housing shortage
Housing – its affordability, accessibility, and form – is a key preoccupation of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. While not necessarily the core concern for most of the Biennial's participants, housing gets a significant share of the exhibition's floorspace.Several participants'... View full entry
Drought reveals 16th century church beneath Mexican reservoir
The ruins of a 16th century church have emerged from the waters of a reservoir in Mexico.
The water level in the Nezahualcóyotl reservoir in Chiapas state has dropped by 25m (82ft) because of a drought in the area. The church, known as the Temple of Santiago or the Temple of Quechula, has been under nearly 100ft of water since 1966.
The church, which is believed to have been built by Spanish colonists, is 183ft long and 42ft wide, with a bell tower that rises 48ft above the ground.
— the Guardian
Mexico’s $105m Baroque Museum denied environmental permit
A Mexican federal agency has denied the environmental permit to allow the construction of the $105m International Baroque Museum in Puebla, less than a month after the groundbreaking ceremony.
The project, designed by the Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Prize-winner Toyo Ito, was deemed “not applicable” by Semarnat’s (the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) General Directorate of Environmental Impact and Risk.