Travel & Architecture

Traveling always involves architecture. From sleek glass and steel skyscrapers in large cities to the fisherman’s hut on a paradise beach, architecture is eventually surrounding us almost everywhere we go.

As an architect, I am fascinated by how spaces make you feel, how a building changes a city, how architecture can influence people’s behavior and interactions with each other. If the world is a book, architecture is one of its main characters. And, as the saying goes, those who do not travel read only one page.

Our understanding of the power designed spaces will only evolve when we experience, in person, what’s been done throughout the world, both old and new, in different places and cultures.


My name is Daniel da Rocha, I am by no means an expert in architecture or travel. I did not study in ivy league schools or worked in big-name architecture offices. But my career involved a lot of traveling, and I lived, worked and studied in four different countries in three different continents. This constant state of "foreignness" definitely defined who I am as an architect as well as a person.

Me visiting the future tallest building in Beijing

When I travel, architecture is almost always the central focus. Sometimes, architecture is the first reason behind the traveling. Food, people, culture, photography; all comes together in a close second.

As much as I love traditional, or small scale architecture, I am also a sucker for large, tall, modern projects. When I travel somewhere, those are the first I like to visit. I like to see how they were built, the details; or how they offer us an entirely different way to interact with its surroundings; or how they fit within the context of the city. I love the power of buildings such as the CCTV Tower in Beijing, or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but I also marvel at the ingenuity of small hutong courtyard houses or houses on stints in river communities.

The Foreign Architect

I've always liked to share my travel experiences. Several years ago I started a blog in my mother language (Portuguese) for my most devoted audience (my family), where I would write about my life abroad. It was a success, and it always represented a good reason to document every step of my ways.

But I've always had the desire to reach a wider audience, like-minded folks who are also interested in all of these things. And during my many hours of research for my own trips, I realized there was an abundance of people writing about travel, another multitude writing about architecture, but few putting them together to create something useful and inspiring for people like me.

That is the goal of this site: to join architecture and travel in one place and to transform it into something useful or inspiring for you. I am not a professional traveler like many out there, I have a day job and counted vacation days every year, but I do try to travel a lot, and I intend to turn each trip into a story worth of your time.

So bear with me, and subscribe to receive news and notifications. I promise to keep your privacy at a maximum and the bugging at a minimum:

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I will send you a weekly email on Mondays. I promise it will always be interesting! And you can unsubscribe at any time.

Also, you can follow The Foreign Architect in some social media out there (check links below!). And email me anytime with ideas, suggestions, or just to say hello: daniel@theforeignarchitect.com.