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Andrés Valbuena

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Houses in Colombia: Shade, Ventilation, and Nature

For houses throughout the world, the barriers between the inside and outside of houses are solid and well-defined, allowing the spaces within the home to be protected from the weather conditions outside and made comfortable for the inhabitants inside. In countries like Colombia, which sit close to the equator and enjoy a warm, subtropical climate, temperatures average just above ideal thermal comfort.

Mon Paradis House / Colectivo Creativo Arquitectos

© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena+ 26

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  176
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2020
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Arkos Colombia, Corona, Etex, Kaliza, Pelikano, +1

VO House / BAQUERIZO Arquitectos

© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés ValbuenaCortesía de Ivan Baquerizo+ 17

Villeta, Colombia
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  580
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Alberto Pachon, Argos, Attmosferas, Diaco, Hayward, +3

Brick in Latin American Architecture: Hospitals and Health Centers

The focus of buildings should ultimately be the well-being of the people using them. When we think of our experiences in hospitals, clinics, the dentist's office, and other medical facilities, the feeling is rarely pleasant. Perhaps it's the smells, the dull, monotone colors, or the sound of medical gadgets working away on some unlucky patient. 

Ventilation and Shade: Permeable Walls in Colombian Architecture

In countries where architecture adapts to the seasons, projects must respond so that they are comfortable for the users, both in the hot summer temperatures and in the cold winter. Tropical countries, such as Colombia, are a bit luckier. The temperature of construction sites depends less on the seasons and more on where they are located geographically according to the altitude above sea level; the closer they are to the sea, the warmer it is. For this reason, it is not essential to seal or insulate the interior spaces. On the contrary, the good management of constant ventilation creates a more permeable and contextual architecture.

We have put together a series of projects with different architectural programs: local markets, health facilities, cultural, education and housing projects. They show that with different construction techniques, you can begin to control the permeability, air flow, privacy or solar heat gain. Explore each of these projects below.

11 Colombian Houses That Feature Exposed Brick

Brick is one of the most widely used materials in Colombia, making the architectural designs in its capital city, Bogotá, stand out worldwide. Due to the excellent quality of the clay found in some regions of the country, brick is used in all aspects of construction, from adobe floor slabs to exterior facades.

Fusca House / BAQUERIZO Arquitectos

© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena+ 21

  • Architects: Baquerizo Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  612
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Sika, Lafarge Holcim, Leviton, Acesco, Alfredo Tirado, +18

Usaquén Urban Wetland / CESB / Obraestudio

© Andrés Valbuena© Daniel Segura© Daniel Segura© Jairo Llano+ 26

  • Architects: Obraestudio
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  91493 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016

Ekiraya School / Alejandro Uribe Cala

© Andres Valbuena© Andres Valbuena© Andres Valbuena© Andres Valbuena+ 14

La Calera, Colombia
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1740
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Rothoblaas, Arauco, Etex, Metaza

Bavaria Brewery Tocancipá Headquarters Expansion / Construcciones Planificadas

© Andrés Valbuena    © Andrés Valbuena    © Andrés Valbuena    © Andrés Valbuena    + 40

Bucaramanga, Colombia
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2011
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Danpal, Corona, DVP, Hunter Douglas, Kreato, +1

Ágora-Bogotá / Estudio Herreros + Bermúdez Arquitectos

© Enrique Guzmán© Javier Callejas© Javier Callejas© Enrique Guzmán+ 24

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  70000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: HID Global, Taylor Clay Products, Accesorios y Acabados, Aluman, Argos, +12

Santa Fe de Bogotá Foundation / El Equipo de Mazzanti

© Alejandro Arango© Alejandro Arango© Andrés ValbuenaCourtesy of El Equipo de Mazzanti+ 63

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  32000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Corian® Design, HID Global, Herman Miller, Keuco, Otis, +18

Ciudadela 29 de Julio Park / El Equipo Mazzanti + AEV Arquitectos

©  Rodrigo Dávila
©  Rodrigo Dávila

© Andrés Valbuena ©  Rodrigo Dávila© Andrés Valbuena ©  Rodrigo Dávila+ 25

Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  36585
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Schréder, Indural, Tematik, Unodot, Urban Play, +1

Ground Control: How Concrete Reshapes Our Relationship to the Earth

Concrete has long had a close relationship with the earth; as the favorite material for the creation of building foundations, one of its most common uses is effectively as a more reliable replacement for soil. In the twentieth century, concrete’s ability to transform our interaction with the ground was taken to the next step. As architects and engineers explored the opportunities offered by a combination of reinforced concrete and the modernist mindset, multiple attempts were made to replace the ground in a more dramatic way: by creating a new ground, separated from the earth itself. Most widespread among these plans was the engineer’s elevated highway which emerged worldwide, and the most relevant to architects the “streets in the sky” embodied by developments such as the Smithsons’ Robin Hood Gardens. Newcastle-upon-Tyne offers a city-wide example of this theory, embarking on an ambitious plan to become the “Brasilia of the North” by creating an elevated network of pedestrian routes entirely separated from the automobiles below - though the project was abandoned in the 1970s with only small sections implemented.

After Modernism’s dramatic fall from grace in the 1970s and 80s, this project to reinterpret the ground with concrete was largely forgotten. Of course architects still used concrete in their designs, but they were content with a purely traditional relationship to the ground: their buildings were discrete entities which sat upon the earth, and nothing more. However, as explored at length in Stan Allen and Marc McQuade’s 2011 book Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain, recent years have shown architects willing to work upon the ground once again, in new and exciting ways. In the years since Landform Building’s publication, this trend has only intensified, as demonstrated by the following three projects.

Santa María de los Caballeros Chapel / MGP Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Image © Andrés ValbuenaHeydar Aliyev Center / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Hélène BinetMulini Beach / Studio 3LHD. Image © Joao MorgadoSanta María de los Caballeros Chapel / MGP Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Image © Andrés Valbuena+ 10

Click Clack Hotel / Plan B Arquitectos

© Andrés Valbuena© Santiago Pyniol © Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena+ 43

  • Architects: Plan B Arquitectos
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2012
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: AGS Stainless, Hansgrohe, Firplak, Mauricio Canal, Perceptual Studio, +3

Santa María de los Caballeros Chapel / MGP Arquitectura y Urbanismo

© Andrés Valbuena
© Andrés Valbuena

© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena© Andrés Valbuena+ 30

Bogota, Colombia

Embassy of Ecuador / Arquiteck & Asociados

© Andrés Valbuena © Andrés Valbuena © Andrés Valbuena © Andrés Valbuena + 27

  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: FunderMax, Eternit, Gerflor, Corev, GRAF, +6