UIA Newsletter – 25 January 2021

The Maine-Montparnasse Tour in Paris, France,  Headquarters of the UIA Secretariat
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGEThe world’s architects are united in the knowledge that design can help cities and towns to grow responsibly, to become places of great environmental quality and social equity.We know how to build without destroying natural habitat or taking valuable agricultural land. We know how to make communities safe and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. We know how to conserve resources. We know how architecture and design can help to make communities more resilient against extreme weather. We know how design can promote better health.In the important year ahead, in the face of many great challenges, we architects can project our useful knowledge and express our hope-filled convictions. As we approach the UIA World Congress of Architects in Rio de Janeiro and celebrate the first UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture, let us redouble efforts to show how architecture can improve the human condition . . . and our planet.UIA President Thomas Vonier
AIA President Peter Exley (left) and his home in Chicago (right), by an unknown architect and dating from 1893
MY CITY: PETER EXLEY & CHICAGOPeter Exley, 2021-2022 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is featured in the second instalment of MY CITY, by the UNESCO-UIA Rio World Capital of Architecture. In the interview Exley, co-founder of Architecture Is Fun, a Chicago-based architecture and design company, explained his affection for the city where he has spent thirty-five years “riding the coattails of the architects who solidify the city’s reputation as the epicenter of modern architecture.”MY CITY, organised in partnership with the UIA, interviews prominent architects about their relationship with cities that marked their lives and previously hosted the World Congress of Architects.Learn more about Chicago, which hosted the 18th World Congress of Architects in 1993 through the eyes of Peter Exley. 
UIA PUBLIC HEALTH GROUP: CALL FOR PAPERS  After a challenging year of dealing with COVID, the UIA Public Health Work Programme (PHG) has launched a call for papers for the UIA-PHG2021 Seminar, for which the two themes are: 1) Health & Cities and 2) Architecture for Health.Priority will be given to projects that address the health design implications resulting from/associated with the pandemic. The submission deadline is 15 March 2021.View the call for papers: English & PortugueseMore information about the UIA Public Health Group
ARCHITECTURE & CHILDREN: ROMA TRANSLATION OF THE “UIA CHARTER” The UIA Work Programme, Architecture & Children, has issued a Romanian translation of the “UIA Charter – Built Environment Education for Children and Young People, 2019 Edition”.The Charter promotes and supports urgent action and development in the field of environmental education worldwide. It forms the basis for providing environmental education to children and young people around the world, an expression of the responsibility that architects, as professionals, owe to these future participants in the creation of our shared built environment.See the Charter in English  More on the Architecture & Children UIA Work ProgrammeSPORTS & LEISURE: REMEMBERING WOJCIECH ZABLOCKIEminent architect, prolific writer, academic and talented sportsman Wojciech Zablocki died on 5 December 2020. A committed and beloved member of the UIA Sports and Leisure Work Programme, he designed many sports facilities in Latakia, Katowice and Konin, among others, as well as the Academy of Physical Education and the National Velodrome, both in Warsaw, Poland.The UIA extends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagueFor more information
MEXICO: NEW FCARM PRESIDENT The Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Mexicana (FCARM) has a new president for 2021-2022: Marco Antonio Vergara Vázquez. He succeeds Aldo Paul Ortega Molina, 2019-2020.Marco Vergara studied a master’s degree in Human Settlement Planning at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon. He has since practiced in both the public and private sectors and has served as president of the Reynosa College of Architects for the period 2011-2013, Regional Advisor of the Board of Honour,  Region IV Representative at FCARM and FCARM General Secretary for the 2019-2020 period.More informationHONG KONG: NEW HKIA PRESIDENTChoi Wun Hing Donald is newly elected Hong Kong Institute of Architects President (2021-2022). Executive Director & Group CEO of Chinachem Group, architect and developer, President Choi is an HKIA Fellow and has worked in the public and private sectors worldwide. Alongside his professional career, he is active in community service and has held multiple leadership roles in non-governmental organisations and professional bodies that focus on community, design and innovation.More information
BRAZIL: NEW CAU PRESIDENTArchitect and Urban Planner Nadia Somekh is the new President of Conselho de Arquitectura e Urbanismo do Bresil (CAU/BR). Elected for a three-year term, she is advisor to the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB) and to the UIA, a visiting professor at the Institute of Urbanism in Paris and 2018 winner of the Academic Palm from the French government.Ms. Somekh was a UIA Council member from 2011-2014 and is on the international jury for the 2021 Triennial UIA Gold Medal and Prizes, to be attributed in Rio de Janeiro this summer at the UIA2021RIO Congress. As President of CAU, Ms. Somekh has declared herself committed to cooperating closely with IAB to make the Congress in July a success.More informationINDIA: NEW IIA PRESIDENTArchitect Chamarthi Rajendra Raju is the new President of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) for the 2020-2022 term. A registered architect with the Council of Architecture and longtime IIA Fellow, he started his independent practice in 1984, establishing a full-fledged office by 1989.He has long been involved in public service, first as chairman of the IIA, Tamilnadu Chapter, from 2013 to 2015, followed by a position as the Honorable Secretary of IIA Mumbai, Senate Member of Madurai Kamaraj University and District Governor of Rotary International District 3230 from 2015 – 2016.More information 
The Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence, Italy
ITALY: STADIO ARTEMIO FRANCHI, FLORENCE  The UIA supported the Heritage Alert issued by ICOMOS, in collaboration with the Pier Luigi Nervi Project Association, for the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence, Italy. An early and important work of Italian engineer and builder Pier Luigi Nervi, the stadium is under imminent threat of destruction due to plans by the Municipality of Florence & the Fiorentina football club to build a new stadium on its site. Recent legislation by the Italian government that relax heritage and conservation requirements are enabling these plans to move forward.The UIA recognises that the demolition or any radical alteration of the Artemio Franchi Stadium would signify a great cultural loss, both for Italy and the international architecture community.More information
The Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka, Bangladesh
BANGLADESH: KAMALAPUR RAILWAY STATION & TEACHER STUDENT CENTRE, DHAKA  The UIA has expressed concern about the fate of two Modernist buildings in Bangladesh threatened by demolition: Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka (1968) and the Teacher Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University, built in the early 1960s.According to UIA President Thomas Vonier: “The UIA understands the necessity of adapting these buildings to the present needs. Nevertheless, we maintain that the Kamalapur Railway Station and the Teacher Student Center (TSC) of the Dhaka University are remarkable architectural and urban achievements of the 20th century Modern Movement. We urge all responsible parties to consider preserving these buildings and consider alternative solutions for the desired development. The demolition of these buildings would signify a great cultural loss, both for Dhaka and the international architecture community.”More information
The Constâncio Vaz Guimarães Sports Complex, São Paulo, Brazil (Wikipedia)
BRAZIL: CONSTÂNCIO VAZ GUIMARÃES SPORTS COMPLEX, SÃO PAULOThe UIA recently learned of the São Paulo Government’s plan to turn over to private developers the Constâncio Vaz Guimarães Sports Complex, including the remarkable Ibirapuera Gymnasium by architect Icaro de Castro Mello, 1952-1954. The UIA maintains that the Modernist gymnasium and the complex are part of Brazil’s valuable architectural heritage, representing the government’s efforts to create high-quality public spaces open to the general public in Brazil. UIA President Thomas Vonier has conveyed to the Governor of the State of São Paulo, João Agripino da Costa Dória Junior, his hope that the historic complex representing a milestone in Leisure and Sports architectural history will be preserved.More information




A gathering of Architects in the historical site of Ikogosi Warm Springs, Ekiti State provided the backdrop for a memorable experience. The Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) is delighted to