Location: Bogota, Colombia
Date: 2009
Client: Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose De Calsas
Status: Competition
Size: 48,000 SQM
Credits: ACME (Julia Cano, Deena Fakhro, Michael Haller)
The site for the Francisco Jose de Caldas University will form part of a new institutional centre at the heart of the El Porvenir district that combines Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, University and a central park. The university needs to create its own identity within this sequence of civic building while also contributing to the emerging public centre. In response to the demands for two very large construction phases, the proposal structures the university as a sequence of bands that interweave and connect at various points across the site. The bands allow for flexible expansion, facilitating the growth of different departments at different speeds, while structuring this growth to form more intimate internal courtyards. Each band can also develop a specific identity and character depending on programmatic distribution, as some will contain mainly teaching spaces and others more communal functions such as libraries. The bands intersect to form external pocket gardens where an abundance of short east-west connections within them will encourage students to use the landscaped courtyards after classes and make them an integral part of their daily journey. Internally, an interwoven first floor circulation spine forms the main circulation corridor, connecting north-south across the bands and forming communal spaces where students and teachers meet, eat and study.