2016

MCHAP

Argos Center for Innovation

Lorenzo Castro Jaramillo

Medellin, Colombia

June 2015

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Lorenzo Castro Jaramillo

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Yezid Ropero Triviño (Workshop Manager - Architect) Ricardo López Rodríguez (Architect) Jan Henao Granda (Architect) Felipe Delgado Londoño (Architect) Cristina Hermida (Architect) María de la Torre Crane (Architect) Antonio Garcés. (Architect)

AUTHOR

Cemento Argos

PHOTOGRAPHER

Lorenzo Castro Jaramillo Sergio Gómez Juan Esteban Vergara

OBJECTIVE

CONTEXT

The EAFIT University, private education institution in Medellin, has occupied the east bank of the Medellín River since 1970, isolated by the boundaries of the Regional highway and the metro train’s line beside the river’s contour. Having grown hermetically through the years, the campus has developed inner landscapes expected to supply the need of wide-open space. In accordance to its context and with a strong intent to constitute areas suited for research, yet appropriate for the academic community, Argos Cement Company in alliance with EAFIT, promoted the construction of an Innovation Center that would trespass the borders of campus, not only through knowledge, development and research, but also through a spatial concern that intended to erase boundaries, both within and outside the campus. Emphasizing the development of an environment suitable for interactions between academics, scientists and professionals, reinforced by a constant relation with the urban context, the project seeks to assemble a place where its various users are able to engage creatively and where the main purpose of the building, technologic developments for cement and concrete, become an explicit manifesto of the built work.

PERFORMANCE

By correctly seizing a border location and a strong presence towards the riverside, the building’s urban premise is embodied; while establishing a direct relationship with the city through an iconic façade that interacts with the landscape, it also reaches out to the inner campus by involving a different perception of the building’s qualities, both, highlighting the scope of concrete versatility and its ability to contain space without constraints. Simultaneously, the project enhances the university’s urban perimeter by creating better pedestrian spaces and improved accessibility, not limited but upgraded by a free flow from the entrance, which guides to the stretched and sculpted first floor straight to the terrace and viewpoint to the city, through fluent corridors and a diverse array of balconies and lookout points. The project’s strategy to welcome the campus into the building and emphasize scientific innovation is counterpart by the awaken of curiosity and multiple perceptions experienced by any individual inside the building, not only through the atmospheres and elements encountered throughout the visit, but also due to the direct contact with scientific environments, equipment and professionals, approachable from the outside circulation. The building is, therefore, field for multiple activities and synergies that allow beneficial relations between different fields of knowledge alongside with a total freedom towards the academic community and the curious visitor to get in contact science, technology and innovation