- Collaborators : Consuelo Noriega, Hamilton Barrios, Raúl Rojas, Roberto Velásquez, Daniel Zárate, Belisario Arjona, Alexander Coronado, Mauricio Correa, Orlando Ariza
- City : Bogotá
- Country : Colombia
Text description provided by the architects. The Herbarium is a building set in Bogotá´s Botanical Gardens designed to house, under very specific conditions of temperature, humidity, security and isolation, a collection of dried plants used for scientific research purposes. Erecting a building within a Botanical Garden is a great challenge due to the impact that it may have on the valuable natural surroundings.
For this reason, it was decided to build approximately 80% of the architectural program underground. This allowed for a continuation of the existing vegetation layer by using green roofs. The only façade of the building was oriented towards the north to obtain indirect lighting to most of the spaces, including the storage and collection areas.
Various passive and energy-saving systems were implemented for an efficient management of resources and in order to align with the Botanical Garden´s misión statement.
For example, a rainwater collection, storage, and treatment system was set in place, so that rainwater water could be used for toilets and irrigation. In addition, solar tubes were installed to conduct and disperse lighting throughout the building.
Internal glass divisions facilitate a visual connection between the different rooms and allow visitors to observe researchers working at the molecular biology laboratory. This space is the heart of the building, surrounded by subsidiary spaces such as offices, a documentation center, a systems room, a quarantine room, a material reception space and the collection room, where the dried plants are filed.
Humidity and temperature are carefully controlled and monitored in this collection room via a highly accurate automated mechanical system. Additionally, an automatic fire detection and protection system was installed. It uses Novec 1230, a gaseous agent that extinguishes the fire leaving no residue.