ALBERTO LLERAS CAMARGO BUILDING

Address
Calle 19 N° 1-37 E
Country
Colombia
City
Bogotá
Area
3.300 mt²
Author(s)
Daniel Bermúdez y Cía. Ltda.: Daniel Bermúdez Samper, Guillermo Bermúdez Umaña, Architects.
Colaborators
Iván Osuna Mota, Ricardo Montoya Ballén, Mónica Villalobos Leal, Catalina Iannini, Héctor Gómez
Owner
Universidad de Los Andes
Structural Engineer
Proyectos y Diseños, Luis Enrique García
Soil survey
Maldonado Ingeniería S.A.
Water and sanitary installation
Proyectos Hidráulicos S.A.
Electrical and telephone installation
Fernando Acosta y Asociados.
Construction Company
Interplan Ltda.

Revista Habitar No. 87 de Junio de 1991  

Revista Noticreto No. 27 de 1993  

Revista Proa No. 414 de Marzo de 1993 

Revista Reflejos Edificio No.1 Enero-Febrero-Marzo de 1993  

Revista Arquitectura No. 8, México Abril de 1993  

Guía arquitectónica de Bogotá - Colombia, Alberto Saldarriaga. 

Publicaciones varias periódico El Tiempo y Revista Habitare No. 332 

Guia Enarca de Arquitectura Tomo 2 – Bogota Centro Historico, 2002 / 

Archivos de Arquitectura Antillana AAA-19, Arq 2004 Colombia, República Dominicana, Septiembre 2004 

Revista Mundo No. 16 – Daniel Bermudez, El Arquitecto De La Luz

DESCRIPTION:

A recipient of the Best Architectural Design Award at the XIII Biennial Exhibition of  Colombian Architecture in 1992, the Alberto Lleras-Camargo Building represents a key component in Los Andes’ Master Plan, developed in 1989.

More than just a building, the project also embodies the roles of a walking path, an open air meeting point, and an organizing hub at the center of the various buildings and open areas inside the campus.

The proposed site, a narrow and elongated stretch of land with a distinctive steep incline, is shaped by the presence of the Engineering Department Building to the east, several classroom and office buildings to the south, and a group of warehouses of industrial nature, to the west. Its odd dimensions notwithstanding, the site displayed a significant advantage: it connected the campus’ center with the urban surroundings, right at the intersection of two of Bogota’s most thriving streets: Avenida Jimenez and Avenida Circunvalar

The Alberto Lleras Camargo building takes on the responsibility of linking the University with the exterior. Similarly, it generates vital connections amidst the existing buildings arranged across the campus’ upper and lower grounds.

As opposed to towering up over the narrow site, the new structure goes purposely underground. In doing so, its roof becomes the campus’ main entrance, as well as its most prominent strand of student traffic, enhanced by the presence of roof gardens, skylights, terraces and stairs. This approach recaptures the site’s lot area, giving it back to the campus as a fully functional zone. Such restitution involves additional challenges regarding foot traffic, sunlight and ventilation, all of which are engaged through different strategies:

Downward from its roof, two stairways enter the new building, which houses a row of classrooms, two semicircular conference rooms, an auditorium, and public toilet rooms. Going beyond meeting the demands set by the program of activities, the project involves the creation of an important outdoors space that doubles up as a main square and open-air auditorium holding up to 1,500 people.

Almost invisible from its rooftop, the building sports a crystal-like façade comprised of window systems that bring natural sunlight inside the classrooms. To the east, these rooms are separated from the soil by an impressive retaining wall shaped after the site’s natural contours. Placed between the retaining wall and the elongated hallways leading to the classrooms, a generous void makes its presence, bringing sunlight from the rooftop, all the way down to the lower floors.

The retaining wall, with the distinctive rough texture of its concrete masonry blocks that dampens excessive noise, generates a well-lit walkway, a “grand canyon” that integrates the walkways and common areas present in all floors.