Perched behind the fog that conceals Bogotá’s mountains is William Oquendo’s house. It is a labyrinth of doors and windows, wherein a bedroom opens into the kitchen and a bathroom vents out into the living room.
Five thousand 5,000 kilometers away in Rio de Janeiro, Gilson Fumaça lives on the terrace level of a three-story house built by his grandfather, his father, and now himself. It’s sturdy; made out of brick and mortar on the ground floor, concrete on the second, and a haphazard combination of zinc roof tiles and loose bricks on the third. The last is Gilson’s contribution, which he will improve as his income level rises.
On the other side of the world in Bombay (Mumbai since 1995), houses encroach on the railway tracks, built and rebuilt after innumerable demolition efforts. “The physical landscape of the city is in perpetual motion,” Suketu Mehta observes in ‘Maximum City.’ Shacks are built out of bamboo sticks and plastic bags; families live on sidewalks and under flyovers in precarious homes constructed with their hands. And while Dharavi—reportedly the largest slum in Asia—has better quality housing, running water, electricity and secure land tenure, this is not the case for most of the new migrants into the city.
Architects: MGP Arquitectura y Urbanismo
Location: Calle 165 N.8A -50 Bogotá, Colombia
Architect In Charge: Felipe González-Pacheco Mejía, Álvaro Bohórquez Rivero
Design Team: María Andrea Díaz, Laura Caicedo, Uriel Rivera, María Francisca Echeverri, Camilo Correa, Santiago Suarez.
Area: 1695.0 sqm
Photographs: Andrés Valbuena
Architects: Arquiteck & Asociados
Location: Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
Architect In Charge: Pablo Rodríguez Agudelo, Mónica Botello Agudelo, David Diaz Diaz, Daniel Giraldo Rivera, Julian Sossa Delgado, Jair Pinzon Hernández, Diego Origua Petrel
Project Area: 772 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrés Valvuena
As both crowdsourcing and crowdfunding gather momentum in the architecture world, they also gather criticism. The crowdsourcing design website Arcbazar, for example, has recently attracted critics who label it as “the worst thing to happen to architecture since the internet started.” A few months ago, I myself strongly criticized the 17John apartment-hotel in New York for stretching the definition of “crowdfunding” to the point where it lost validity, essentially becoming a meaningless buzzword.
In response to this criticism, I spoke to Rodrigo Nino, the founder of Prodigy Network, the company behind 17 John, who offered to counter my argument. Read on after the break for his take on the benefits of tapping into the ‘wisdom of crowds.’
Richard Meier & Partners has unveiled designs for their first project in Bogota: Vitrvm. Conceptualized as two towers united at the base, the new 13-story residential development will provide 36 apartments along Septima Avenue in the north section of the city.
“The project is contextually inspired by the beauty of its immediate surroundings,” described the architects. “It aims to reflect and to engage the beautiful gardens and large trees at the Chico Park and the Seminario Mayor,” one of the largest and most important seminaries in Colombia.
Building off of the success of their crowdfunded BD Bacatá building in Colombia, the real estate group Prodigy Network has announced a plan to bring this same funding method to New York, with an apartment hotel in Manhattan named 17 John.
The project, a glassy rooftop extension to the existing art deco building at 17 John Street, has much in common with Prodigy Network’s past projects: the same funding method as their skyscraper in Bogotá as well as the same designer, Winka Dubbeldam, head of the New York practice Archi-Techtonics. Dubbeldam also previously helped them to crowdsource ideas for the future development of Bogotá in the “My Ideal City” project.
However, when applied to the USA, this funding paradigm – which is so promising in Colombia – becomes twisted beyond recognition. Upon close inspection, 17 John more resembles the standard developer’s model than anything else – and the claims of ethical superiority begin to melt away.
In this article for Fast Company, Boyd Cohen counts down the top 8 smart cities in Latin America. Using publicly available data and his own comprehensive framework to evaluate how smart a city is, he has generated a list which even he admits features a couple of surprises in the top spots. To see the list and discover what each city has achieved to deserve its ranking, you can read the full article here.
OMA (NY), along with local collaborators Gomez + Castro Arquitectos, has been selected to masterplan the Bogotá Centro Administrativo Nacional (CAN) in Colombia, a mixed-use civic center roughly the size of Washington DC’s National Mall. Located at the midpoint of Calle 26 Avenue, the city’s main axis that has symbolically charted its growth from the historic downtown to the airport and the international gateway of Colombia, CAN will serve as a new city center and government headquarters with additional programs of residential, educational, retail and cultural developments.
Shohei Shigematsu, director-in-charge of OMA New York, commented, “Our proposal enables CAN to be a lively node, providing a continuous public domain that curves through the site to connect the park, the university and Calle 26. With a single gesture, the arc achieves a clear urban identity while accommodating programmatic diversity.”
Centro Internacional de Convencions de Bogota awarded to Herreros Arquitectos in collaboration with Daniel Bermudez
Herreros Arquitectos in collaboration with Daniel Bermudez, were recently awarded the design of the Centro Internacional de Convencions de Bogota. Beating some of the world’s most prestigious architects, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Rem Koolhaas, Diller & Scofidio, Snøhetta, and Dominique Perrault, the winning design is defined as an urban experience, in which its inhabitants and strangers will come together to share their common interest in knowledge, innovation and the strength of civil society. Aspiring to obtain the Gold-status LEED certificate the new 70,000 sqm Centro Internacional de Convencions de Bogota will be the maximum exponent of Colombia’s ability to apply state-of-the-art technology as well as of the country’s commitment to the environment
An exhibition devoted to Herreros Architectos’ recent work is currently on display at the ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur Gallery in Oslo.
More renderings of the winning design following the break.
Architects: MGP arquitectura y Urbanismo / Felipe González-Pacheco
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Designers: Felipe González-Pacheco, Alvaro Bohorquez, Alberto Aranda
Team: Juliana Sorzano, Paola Moreno, José Cohecha, Camilo Correa
Construction: Exacta proyecto total, Luis Guillermo Vallejo
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 6,200 sqm
Photographs: Andrés Valbuena