I recently read an article which raised an interesting point that globalization can have a negative impact on cultural context. Many ‘starchitects’ (famous architects with rock star appeal) like Santiago Calatrava leave their mark on cities around the world, often without taking specific cultural cues from the city itself. This bridge, which is trademark Calatrava, is elegant, refined and structurally inspiring but where is it? (Hint: the city is famous for Eva Peron)
Most people would think of Machu Picchu when asked about ancient architecture in Peru, however Sacsayhuaman predates the Inca civilization. The complex an amazing example of engineering and stonemason skill. Located on the outskirts of Cuzco, the atmosphere is mesmerizing for its craftsmanship, its commanding location overlooking the ancient city and the Andes and the occasional visiting llama.
On a recent trip to Sydney I discovered some little gems in Darling Quarter. A series of small shelters and utilities buildings created as beautifully crafted, enveloping spaces where parents watched their children play and office workers relaxed during their lunch break.
Imagine gazing out the window each day over the roof tops of this ancient Royal city. Patan’s Durbar Square in Nepal is one of seven groups of monuments in the Kathmandu Valley recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage list for their cultural significance. Architecturally, the striking forms are complemented by rich terracotta tiles, bricks and elaborate wood carvings. The square has a vibrant atmosphere frequented by tourists and locals alike.