In 2010, the town of Gramalote in Colombia was destroyed by a catastrophic mudslide, triggered by heavy rainfall and a series of small earthquakes. Now the town is being rebuilt from scratch in a new location, and the government has introduced architectural competitions for the town’s major public buildings, including a high school, sports center, a cultural center, a public market, an elderly home and a farmer center.
Architects Rodrigo Chain and Jheny Nieto have shared their winning design for the New Gramalote Market Plaza with us, a structure of 15 concrete modules that occupies a steeply sloping site. Read on after the break for more on the design.
Architects: Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Location: Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
Design Team: Claudia Lucia Rueda León, Diego Andrés Rodas Ovalle, Germán Vargas Escobar, Andrés Felipe Martínez Arismendi
Associate Professor: José Fernando Muñoz Robledo
Area: 7226.0 sqm
Photographs: Germán Vargas Escobar, Constructor Andrés Moreno Sánchez, Andrés Felipe Martínez Arismendi, Courtesy of Universidad Nacional De Colombia, Juan Gabriel Ocampo Hurtado
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.
Architects: Alejandro Restrepo Montoya , Javier Castañeda Acero
Location: Carrera 57, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Architect In Charge: Javier Castañeda Acero + Alejandro Restrepo Montoya
Design Team: Javier Castañeda Acero, Alejandro Restrepo Montoya, Edison Bedoya Santamaría, Juan Esteban Parra Henao, Pablo Rico Álvarez, Jorge Andrés Arenas Betancur, Juan David Cerón Betancur, Zulay Andrea Rendón Cardona
Area: 950.0 sqm
Photographs: Sergio Gómez, Juan Felipe Gómez Tobón
It begins with a fundamental premise: Buildings occupy only a fraction of land in cities. Just as important as physical structures, are the public spaces in between.
In many cities these spaces have long been disregarded. Today, however, we are witnessing bold experimentation and innovation coming forth from cities across the globe: cities re-using and re-imagining previously underused spaces in order to uplift communities and transform lives.