Two residential buildings in Bogotá, Colombia / Giancarlo Mazzanti

Giancarlo Mazzanti is a Colombian architect who has designed award winning public buildings, such as the España Library, the Nazca restaurant and the La Ladera Library. By looking at this work, you can see a continuity in terms of materials, colors and space configuration. But also, he plays around on how you appoarch, enter and circulate the buildings.

All of this is put into form again, on two residential buildings: Habitar 72 (left) and Habitar 74 (right).

Maybe I will have the opportunity of interviewing Giancarlo next week. Please leave a comment if you´d like me to ask something in particular.

Now, the buildings:

Habitar 7.2

Habitar 72

Architects: Giancarlo Mazzanti, Alejandro Castaño
Collaborators: Manuel Mendoza, Camilo Mora, Fredy Pantoja, Andrés Sarmiento
Contractor: CNB Constructora
Project: 2004
Construction: 2005

This Project is located on a residential neighborhood on the east side of the city, formed by 7 stories tall adjacent buildings. On this specific site, we had a 7 stories tall blind wall of a building to the east, and isolation was required by regulation to the west side, overlooking the mountains, next to a school. Given that, the building is adjacent to the building to the east, with a perforated wall over the street, which contains the double height of the apartments. Over the west side, the project opens with large windows.

The plot is long (45m) and thin (12m), but zoning requires 4m of separation, which ends up on a 35x8m useful area. This defined two apartments per floor, for the best views and daylight conditions.

The duplex apartments were developed as empty volumes to be occupied and designed according to the requirements of each client. Given that, apartments have an open plan, with service pipelines on the back that allow for the maximum flexibility to let each module to be treated as a complete autonomous element.

The project is developed as a traditional pillar/beam structure, with walls finished on white-bone concrete, brown stone floors and transparent and colored glass panels, that hide service zones to the outside.

The first floor has a latticed wooden wall that uniforms, while giving character to, the entrance.

Habitar 7.4

Habitar 74

Architects: Giancarlo Mazzanti, Alejandro Castaño
Collaborators: Sergio Garzón, Alberto Aranda, Diana Vásquez
Contractor: CNB Constructora
Design: 2003
Construction: 2004

A veil to the city

This Project is located on a residential neighborhood on the east side of the city, formed by 7 stories tall adjacent buildings. On this specific site, we had a 7 stories tall blind wall of a building to the north and were required to be isolated from a 5 stories tall building to the south.

Given that, the building is adjacent to the one on the north, using similar colors (wood) for integrations. Over the east side a latticed wood veil gives depth and natural daylight, while distancing from the neighbor building.

Over the long facade, linear openings overlook the mountains and the gardens of an adjacent school. Over this openings, colored glass panels allow for sun and win control, coming from the east.

Several apartment typologies were developed: duplex, full floor and others. Floors were developed as big open spaces on which isolated cubes at the center contain vertical circulations, with services (kitchen, bathrooms) on the east side. This results on facades free of walls, with daylight entering by 3 open sides. The terraces were designed as vertical gardens overlooking the city.

Cite: "Two residential buildings in Bogotá, Colombia / Giancarlo Mazzanti" 26 Oct 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Danilo

    Question to Mr. Mazzantti.:

    In your opinion, what is refraining Colombian architecture and architects to experiment with new anf fresh ideas on their work and why Colombian architecture is not so widely published in the media?


  • Santiago

    I don’t have a question for Mr. Mazzanti, just wanted to thank the writer for featuring this Colombian architect in your blog. I have actually driven by (and admired) both of these buildings here in Bogota without knowing that they were designed by the same architect.

    If I could answer the previous comment, Colombian architecture is not normally featured in the media because 1) Colombian architects are not known for being risk takers (Mazzanti being a notable exception) and 2) media outlets prefer to focus on negative aspects of Colombia.

  • Maria-Louiza Laopodi

    Taking the conversation away from the American South and bringing it to the Mediterranean [Greece], it seems that the media tent to be very reluctant on foreign works and very severe on ‘local’ works as if the origin mattered more that the actual work. Does it answer the program well? Is it taking all parameters into account? etc…
    A question for Mr. Mazzanti: I can’t understand the reason behind the perforated concrete wall on Habitar 72. I think of privacy from the street but I don’t like its bulky effect. Contrast to the garden I can think of as well…would really appreciate a comment. Thank you.

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  • Matt

    How refreshing to see two buildings with style! The building boom in Bogota has been increadible, but most buildings look the same: red brick towers of various heights. It’s great to see something else!

  • anderson tullius

    thanks so much for this awesome post