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Architecture as Cultural Identity: A Town in Bolivia Gets Bold & Bright

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Whether you love it or hate it, the divisive architectural style taking over the Bolivian city of El Alto is certainly a departure from the norm, injecting bold shapes and colors into an otherwise average cityscape. Local architect Freddy Mamani, who has spent the last 18 years developing the signature style he calls “Nuevo Andino” (“New Andean”), felt that El Alto was too “monochrome.” Each of his buildings is like a unique sculptural work of art aiming to enliven the city and pay homage to ancient indigenous motifs of the area.

Rio de Janeiro named the First World Capital of Architecture

Rio de Janeiro. Image via Creative Commons Rio de Janeiro. Image via Creative Commons

UNESCO has named Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the World Capital of Architecture for 2020. In keeping with UNESCO’s recent partnership agreement with the UIA, UNESCO designates the World Capital of Architecture, which also hosts the UIA’s World Congress. The World Capital of Architecture is intended to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning and architecture.

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Saudi Arabia is Planning a Major Art Oasis in the Desert

© Shutterstock © Shutterstock

Saudi Arabia’s Crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman is reported to be in discussion with U.S auction house Sotheby’s regarding the creation of a major cultural center, to be situated in the country’s archaeologically-rich region of Al-Ula. As reported by Bloomberg, the center would sit in close proximity to the ancient UNESCO World Heritage city of Mada’in Salih, among elaborate 2000-year-old sandstone buildings.

The link with Sotheby’s centers on the company’s co-chairman Allan Schwatrzman, who also sits on the advisory board of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula which aids the region’s development. Schwatrzman is also the leader of Art Agency Partners, Sotheby’s art advisory firm, which has submitted its vision for the major arts and cultural complex.

Hotel in Coimbra / depA

© José Campos © José Campos
  • Architects: depA
  • Location: Alta de Coimbra, Portugal
  • Authors: Carlos Azevedo, João Crisóstomo, Luís Sobral, Miguel Santos, Sara Pontes, Margarida Leitão
  • Engeneering: CPX, Ncrep, Mse
  • Consultant: Financertus
  • Area: 23680.6 ft2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: José Campos
© José Campos © José Campos

Text description provided by the architects. The three pre-existing buildings around a mediterranean courtyard are located Coimbra, in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Protection Zone.

8 Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Status

Fallingwater. Image © Robert Ruschak - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Fallingwater. Image © Robert Ruschak - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Eight buildings by acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright have been nominated for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Titled “The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright,” the list of eight major works is a revision of a previous application lodged in February 2015.

Submitted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, the list spans Wright’s 70-year career with schemes such as Unity Temple, Taliesin West, Fallingwater, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Let's Taco 'Bout Taqueria Architecture

Torchy’s Tacos / Chioco Design. Image © Patrick Y. Wong Torchy’s Tacos / Chioco Design. Image © Patrick Y. Wong

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. 

Paco’s Tacos / Techné Architecture + Interior Design

HASSELL reveals Panda Land design

A connected, immersive and authentic Panda Trail across the southern Chinese city of Chengdu will tell the conservation story of China’s iconic giant panda, inviting visitors to explore, discover and dream.

Chengdu is located in the Sichuan Province, which constitutes the world’s most significant contiguous area of panda habitat. It includes a number of UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites, including giant panda sanctuaries.
HASSELL has been named as one of the successful practices in the Chengdu Panda Land competition to master plan key sites across the city – all connected to the conservation, protection and education about China’s giant pandas.

NIO House / SHL

© SchRAN © SchRAN
  • Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
  • Location: NO.18, Hubin Road, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou,China
  • Architecture And Interior Design: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
  • Area: 1221.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: SchRAN
  • Client : NIO
  • Competition: Direct commission
© SchRAN © SchRAN

Text description provided by the architects. Located on the scenic West Lake waterfront in Hangzhou, China, the new flagship automotive gallery and clubhouse for car manufacturer NIO blends the company brand with West Lake culture, giving consumers a multi-sensory understanding of NIO’s environmentally-rooted brand philosophy.

depA Architects

depA Architects
Sapientia Hotel . Coimbra depA Architects . photos: © José Campos The three pre-existing buildings around a mediterranean courtyard are located Coimbra, in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Protection Zone. In such delicate surroundings, the intervention seeks a delicate design balanced between the need for technical adaptations to contemporary building demands, the legal requirements for … Continue reading depA Architects

383 Projects Nominated for the EU Mies Prize for Contemporary Architecture

The Fundació Mies van der Rohe and European Commission have revealed the 383 projects nominated for the 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The projects, which hail from 36 countries across the European Continent represent a wide range of typologies and office types. Of the countries included, the most projects come are located in Spain and Belgium (27 and 21 nominees, respectively.) London, home to 12 nominees, boasts the most nominated projects of any single city followed by Vilnius (9) and Paris (8).

“The 2019 nominees highlight metropolitan areas as the location of most of the works, but the map also reveals the generation of axes such as the Dublin-Brussels-Ljubljana-Tirana one, where 100 million Europeans live and a third of the total number of nominated works have been built," explained prize coordinator Ivan Blasi.