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Heatherwick Studio unveils designs for first building in South America


UK architecture practice Heatherwick Studio has unveiled designs for its first building in South America, a university building with colourful, undulating columns informed by indigenous weaving practices.

Located in Bogotá, along the city’s Calle 72 thoroughfare, the seven-storey building will be part of the Universidad Ean and will host the school of sustainable design and workshops.

Renderings show a facade made up of a series of colourful, undulating columns that travel that height of the building.

Garden terraces are placed intermediately along the columns, which rise to meet the building’s various floors. Colourful, geometric columns can also be seen along the sides of the building.

Building with colourful columns
Heatherwick Studio has unveiled designs for a university building in Bogotá

Each of the building’s storeys features glazed facades with wooden framing.

“The design pays homage to the local craft traditions including Werregue basketry, a form of weaving unique to Colombia’s Wounaan indigenous community,” said the studio in a statement.

Werregue basketry is characterized by similar oval silhouettes and is most commonly made of natural palm fibre and coloured with vegetable dyes.

The studio also said it is working to develop “innovative facade materials” to accommodate the “high levels of sunlight” at Bogotá’s altitude, which sits at 8,660 feet (2,640 metres) above sea level.

The project will also incorporate a public space in front of the building.

“The building will serve as a new centre for the campus,” said the team.”Complementing the existing heritage structures on the site, and providing a rare new public space in the city.”

“Creativity is intrinsic to the city of Bogotá,” added Heatherwick Studio partner Eliot Postma.

“You see it everywhere. We want students to feel proud of their campus before they even enter the building, arriving through a public square that offers passers-by a welcoming communal oasis amidst the hard urban surroundings.”

Building with colourful columns
Its colourful, undulating columns were informed by indigenous weaving practices

Renderings show a plaza populated with circular seating that mirrors the forms of the facade, as well as a central lightwell that connects to a subterranean level.

The landscaping will comprise species from Bogotá’s “cloud forest” – the natural parks surrounding the city, the second most biodiverse in the world.

The project is expected to break ground in 2025.

Recently, Heatherwick Studio completed a development in Japan topped with hilltop roofs and announced plans to convert the BT Tower in London into an “extraordinary” hotel.

The images are by Nod 


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