south america

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Beach Architecture, Navidad, Chile
Navidad is a small town located at the cost about two hours by car in the South of the capital. It is well known for its´ wonderful beaches and good waves for surfing. During the past years a unique type of beach architecture was developed by the local architecture studios. Significant for this architecture style are fences made of driftwood, black painted wood facades and huge window facades. One very successful and representative studio is WMR arquitectos who has realized the Hotel Surazo at the beach Maestranza that you can see on the photos.

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Three of a kind, Concepción, Chile
During my short stay in Concepción I had to visit the Casa Poli by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. On a stormy day it was an impressing adventure to drive to the cliffs where the massiv concrete cube is located. The following morning I got up at five in the morning to visit three other buildings from this architecture studio. All of them were built in an urban context on small plots where the nature is less important than it is in the context of the Casa Poli. For me they seemed to be copies and variations with the absence of this strong and significant character like the Casa Poli has.

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Calama, Chile
The North of Chile is very dry and by passing it you will see a fantastic desert landscape with incredible rock formations. The city Calama is located in the middle of the Atacama Desert between Antofagasta and San Pedro de Atacama. This city lives and makes its' money with the biggest copper mine worldwide which is also the reason that it is a quite rich chilean city. Unfortunately you can't notice this in their architectural taste. Most of the new built houses are just a light aluminium construction that is closed with panels of OSB. Also the doors that were installed without any structure caught my attention.

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Uyuni, Bolivia
After 3 days of desert in a hight between 4000 and 5000 meters above sea level without any connection to the world outside I was really looking forward to the civilisacion of the biggest city in an area of hundreds of kilometers. When we entered the city by car I coulden't stop watching. It was so different compared to the cities of Chile. Most of the streets weren't paved, the new houses are constructed of a sceletten of concret,  filled with bricks and just left - no unnecassary finishing of the facades. Because of the wide and flat desert the city covers an incredible huge surface and the houses are not higher than two floors. This city and the people woke my interest to get to know more of Bolivia.
City in the desert, Bolivia
After hours of driving through the stormy bolivian desert we stopped in a small village in the middle of nowhere. The air was dusty and everything was covered with sand. The streets were empty and I didn' t even spot a dog. The only shop was closed and we had to call and wait for a long while until someone appeared. It was a very strange and depressing atmosphere so far from anything.The only local buildingmaterial is loam. They used to use it in form of bricks and the roofs are covered with grass. For their new buildings they use concret skelettans filled with bricks, that are very economic but don´t fit very well into the landscape.

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Casa Poli, Concepción, Chile
In the first week of my architecture studies I listened to a speech about great contemporary architecture. One of the examples was the Casa Poli by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. I was amazed by this simple, consequent architecture and the relation to the strong and dangerous nature. While staying in Chile it was a must do for me to travel to this building which is located on a peninsula in the North of Concepción. On the way up from Concepción it was raining and stormy and I was doubting if we would be able to make it to the house. Finally we arrived there but the winds were so strong that it was to dangerous to go closer to the cliffs than you can see it on the photos. To get to know the Casa Poli under such strong conditions impressed me deeply.

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Mendoza, Argentina
This is the greenest city that I have ever seen. Because of the really hot summers all the streets are lined with huge trees and a canal system. Particulary on hot days the water in the canals evaporates and it is keept in the streets by the shady leaf canopy. With this simple measures the people of Mendoza created a bearable humid and shady climate that makes the daily work life during summer possible. You can find many beautiful houses built in the colonial style but you
don´t need more than one or two days for the city centre. Mendoza is famous in the whole world especially for its fantastic vines.

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Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque, Chile
At the cost 40 minutes far away from Viña del Mar the members of the faculty of architecture of the Universidad Catholica de Valparaíso has a huge terrain where they experiment with architecture, give classes and get inspired by nature and the beautiful countrysite. There are great examples of residential architecture where many of the professors live in. Examples for reunion spaces and public pavillions, art installations and landscape architecture are used for classes every week.

 

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El Plan, Valparaiso, Chile
Beside the famous cerros of Valparaiso you should not forget to visit the great architecture of the flat part of the city next to the seaside. Incredible buildings from different epoques were built in one neighbourhood. A must see is the Plaza Mayor with the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes (Modernism), the Nueva Estación Puerto Valparaíso (Modernism), the Comandancia de Jefe de la Armada ( French-Neoclassical-Style) and the architecture mix of the building of the CSAV (classical and modern). The Reloj Turri is spreading one street into two. And if you just take your time and wander through the city, you will find unique grafitty artworks.

 

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Perspectives, Valparaiso, Chile

Never did you have time to dress yourself, and always you were surprised by life. Death woke you up, in your nightshirt, in your long johns fringed with colors, naked with a name tattooed on your stomach, and with a hat. The earthquake caught you, and you ran crazedly, you broke your fingernails.The waters and the stones the sidewalks, the sea, the night, all were shaken.You slept on the ground, tired from your navigation, and the furious earth lifted its waves more tempestuous than a marine gale. The dust covered up your eyes. The flames burned your shoes. The solid houses of the bankers trembled like injured whales, while above, the houses of the poor jumped into the void like imprisoned birds who test their wings and fall to the ground.

(Extract `Ode to Valparaiso_Pablo Neruda_Translation:Molly Allison-Baker)

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Urban Faces, Valparaiso, Chile
A long time ago the houses in Valparaiso didn´t have house numbers. If somebody wanted to describe where he lived or where to find his house it was quite difficult to explain. So the inhabitants of Valparaiso started painting their houses in different colours. If sombody said `I live in the blue house at the end of the road Cumming´ , everyone knew what they had to look for. Later architects and the architectural press discovered these unique colourful houses that are covering the hills of Valparaiso. Today - the most beautiful hills are listed as a UNESCO world heritage.

 

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Social Housing - Playa Ancha, Valparaiso, Chile
In the cerro Playa Ancha you can find many different projects of social housing. From all of these houses the inhabitants have a fantastic view over the sea. Today the 150 flats designed by the architecture studio Elemental are the most famous ones. Alejandro Aravena and Elemental are known for its social architecture and won therefore the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2016. Originally the social housings were constructed in brick because it is a very cheap, robust and common building material.

 

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Playa Ancha, Valparaiso, Chile
This cerro is the largest hill of Valparaiso and the only one on which you can find military and universtiy buildings. It is located at the southern end of the bay. This part of the city hosts many commercial and many residential buildings - and  remarkably architecture of social housing. I really enjoyed this authentic and not touristic part of the city where you can see how the locals are living and working - and where you can find beautiful spots at the coast with an fantastic view over the Pacific Ocean.

 

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Museums, Santiago de, Chile
My first day that I´ve spent in the capital was quite hazy and foggy. So we decided not to climb on all the hills and overlooks but focus on the huge cultural offer of this city. We´ve visited the the MAC - Museo de Arte Contemporáneo which was designed by the French-Chilean Architect Emile Jecquier in the Neoclassical style. In the interior there is a huge and very beautiful entrance hall. Under the square of the Palacio La Moneda is the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda with touring exhibitions and exhibitions about the chilean culture and its people.
Another must do is the stunning contemporary architecture in Corten steel of the GAM - Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral.

 

Santiago de, Chile

The most beautiful thing about Santiago de Chile is definitely the fantastic panorama of the Andes. Even when it is hazy, you can see the snowy white peaks. The capital of Chile was constructed at the banks of the Mapocho River and it has about six million inhabitants.The urban structure is organized by squared street blocks, which are typical for the architecture of the colonial style from Spain.
From the parks on the hills like Cerro Santa Lucia or Cerro San Cristobal you have a beautiful view over the different districts and the different architecture styles. Every Barrio has its own character and lifestyle. 

 

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Verticals, Santiago de, Chile
On my wanderings through the city of this unknown country I could not stop pushing the button on my camera capturing fascinating impressions, no matter whether the photos were taken vertically or horizontally. I had simply chosen the best perspective. As these photos are definitely worth it to be seen, I created an extra topic for all vertical impressions.

 

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Verticals, Valparaíso, Chile
On my wanderings through the city of this unknown country I could not stop pushing the button on my camera capturing fascinating impressions, no matter whether the photos were taken vertically or horizontally. I had simply chosen the best perspective. As these photos are definitely worth it to be seen, I created an extra topic for all vertical impressions.

 

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Cultural Centre, Valparaíso, Chile
This park contains several building structures from various periods. The oldest one in the centre of the parc was built of brick and was a former prison, as well as the white painted cubic volume with tiny windows that is oriented regtangular to the coast. In 2010-2011 the local architecture studio HLPS Arquitectos won the copmpetition for this new cultural centre. They designed this introverted volume on stilts with an facade of exposed concrete. This park offers various activities, artistic programms and exhibitions.

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Valparaíso N° l, Chile
The words colourful, impossible architecture, hills and absolutely innovative, perfectly describe this fascinating city. Every spare centimeter is filled with any variety of construction possible. The facades are mostly covered with corrugated iron sheets which are painted in all shades of colors. In between you can find colonial buildings with wonderful ornaments.
Since 2003 this city on 45 hills is listed on the UNESCO world hertiage list. To overcome the hilly topography there were built many stairs and elevators.

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Verticals, Viña del Mar, Chile
On my wanderings through the city of this unknown country I could not stop pushing the button on my camera capturing fascinating impressions, no matter whether the photos were taken vertically or horizontally. I had simply chosen the best perspective. As these photos are definitely worth it to be seen, I created an extra topic for all vertical impressions.

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Viña del Mar N° l, Chile
This city at the pacific ocean is about one hour from Santiago by car and adjoins to Valparaíso. In summer many tourists from Chile and Argentina increase the number of ist 300.000 inhabitants. The locals call it the most beautiful and saftest city in Chile. The citycenter is predominantely built in a quite western style with office buildings, stores, bars and restaurants. The beach is lined by many high rise residential buildings in different kinds of styles where most visitors get accomodated. 

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Painted Houses, Viña del Mar, Chile
My first walk through Viña del Mar led me through a neighbourhood with many small and differently looking houses which were probably selfmade or selfrenovated. I fell in love with their charm and during the following days I was exploring new streets always looking for more of these characteristic houses.
Normally I do not like much colour in architecture, but the way these coulours distinguish the buildings fascinated me. And later Valaparaíso presented me with very many of these kind of houses.

 

Urban Structures, Argentina
On my way from Sao Paulo to Chile I had the chance to see several argentinian cities from above. 

Most of them are organized in square blocks but the outline of each city is different. 

The different cities are connected by long and very straight roads which seem to cut the landscape. The whole landscape which is human made is organized in geometrical forms. I really enjoyed observing it!

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Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Salta, Argentina

 

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Corrientes, Argentina

 

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Simple Patagonia, Puerto Natales, Chile

This hotel is located in the wonderful wild nature of the Patagonia next to the city Puerto Natales. The architect and the owners designed it similar to an Estancia - an estate with huge fields, sheeps or cows. From the outside you can notice this by the huge lettering on the roof and the wooden cladding that covers the walls and the roof. These links to the typical traditional Estancia you can also find in the smallest details. In the Simple Patagonia you can find many objects that were originally used in a very different context. For example the wooden pillars which used to be telephone poles.

The cozy hotel follows a philosophy of using many local and sustainable products. 

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