In this vast region of Latin America, each country faces its own unique social background, but also has several common problems to face, among which the housing problems, special climatic conditions, and colonial history are the most prominent. This research is not simply an architectural field trip and documentation, but also an exploration of the historical roots of this particular region as well as the local economic, political, and sociocultural context. If the issue of high-density habitation in Latin America was the starting point of my research, locating the discourse behind each building is a further gain outside the journey.
To summarize briefly, the space and light, walls, and colors seen in Mexican housing are rooted in its historical sources—colonial history and religious traditions, and certainly the particular angle of sunlight in this climate; the open construction model adopted in the low-cost housing in Peruvian cities and the exploration of prefabrication, semi-prefabrication, and standardized prefabrication are the results of the joint practice of the government and residents, and propose a practical model for the global housing problem. It also poses a new challenge to architects—how to redefine the role of architects in residential building design. In the main big cities of Brazil, one can see how several generations of modern Brazilian architects respond to urban densification, through the integration of alliances between infrastructure and architectural projects, urban network landscapes, and engineering techniques. Two groups of dwellings in Brazil's high-density urban environment are equally worthy of consideration, the social housing representing the art of poverty and the high-rise apartments for the middle class. The inhabitants are provided with inhabitable architectural enclosure under the specific sociocultural and climatic conditions that are rooted in the collective memory of the Brazilians.
Through an overall overview of six important cities in Latin America, this report further locates the typical buildings in each city historically, reinterprets them through fieldwork, drawing interpretation, genealogy of architects and their educational background, and expands the significance of these historical fragments for contemporary architectural practice through the thematic reflections reflected in individual buildings.