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.

Project Details +

Project Details

LOCATION: Bogota, Colombia
CLIENT: Universidad Distrial Francisco Jose De Caldas
DATE: 2009
STATUS: Competition
SIZE: 48,000 m2

Credits +


ACME: Julia Cano, Deena Fakhro, Michael Haller

The university needs to create its own identity within this sequence of civic building while also contributing to the emerging public centre. The campus should encourage residents to use its facilities and prevent the building from becoming a gated complex detached from its community.

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. A banded structure offers several advantages to the University in terms of phasing, massing, identity, and orientation.

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.

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