Bermúdez Arquitectos

Vertical University Campus in Bogotá

Bogotá, 2014 | Private competition, First prize | in progress | 36.100 mt² | Main Building for the Unipanamericana University, Compensar, Bogotá.

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Design: Daniel Bermúdez Samper

Design Team: Stan van der Maas, David Gómez, David Barbosa, Alberto Roa, Jaime Barrera, Julián Beltrán, Paula Sopó, María Catalina Venegas, Juan Martínez, David Caballero.

Structural Engineering: Aycardi Estructural

Geotechnical Engineering: LFO, Luis Fernando Orozco.

Electrical Engineering: SM&A, Jaime Sánchez.

Plumbing and VHAC Engineering: Álvaro Tapias & Cía.

Acoustics Design: ADT Diseño & Tecnología, Daniel Duplat

Building Automation, Security and Fire Safety Consultant: AGR, Jaime Andrés García.

Sustainability: Arquitectura & Bioclimática, Jorge Ramírez

Lighting Design: María Teresa Sierra Consultoría de Iluminación y Cia. S.A.S.

Vertical Circulation Systems Design: Ing. Rafael Beltrán

The competition brief for the ambitious university development promoted by Compensar, possessed a latent tension between the lack of available land within Bogotá´s expanded center and the pressing demand for higher education institutions. As a result, more and more compact university buildings are appearing throughout the city. In this case, Compensar owns a well-proportioned parcel close to an intersection of two important roads in the northwest of the expanded city center. It results to be an atypical, but strategic location for an intermediate size university like the one commissioned, for its relative centrality, its accessibility and acceptable land value.

With the given plot size and the ambitious program, the university will inevitably be organized vertically. Our winning scheme proposed the upfront stacking of the different faculties and the creation of a genuine vertical campus: a 60x60mt cube, 12 stories high, interconnected by large voids and with sports facilities on the roof. The most complex issue, the efficient and comfortable handling of student flows, is resolved by a 6-unit elevator core perforating the cube´s center. Technical areas and restrooms adjacent to the elevators, and four blocks of emergency stairs located in the corners, structure the floor plans, in which auditoriums, classrooms, offices and meeting areas are laid out. Depending on the programmatic demands of the different faculties, voids are opened up on each level to communicate the different floors and offer spacious informal areas for recreation, collaboration and studying.

Floors with classrooms and study areas, an exclusive library floor, and floors dedicated to staff offices, consistently mixed with internal voids and double height terraces, constitute and shape the volume as a whole. Structural systems, installations and cable routes are carefully analyzed and planned to obtain maximum efficiency and flexibility of the entire complex.