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2018 MCHAP

Agora Bogota, Convention Center

Bermudez Arquitecros & estudioHerreros

Bogota, Colombia

December 2017


Bermúdez Arquitectos estudioHerreros


Consortium P&P, CNI, BAC ECG (Structural designer) ARUP (Façades consultant) ARQUITECTURA&BIOCLIMATICA (Sustainability consultant) ALVARO TAPIAS & CIA (HVAC, Gas and Plumbing systems design) CONVENTIONAL WISDOM (Programming consultant ) AKUSTIKS (AV System designer ) ADT (Acoustical designer) Motta & Rodriguez (kitchen designer) INGENIERÍA TRANSPORTE VERTICAL (Vertical Transportation consultant) LFO Ingenieros de suelos (Soil survey consultant) SM&A (Electrical and Data designer ) María Teresa Sierra Consultoría de Iluminación y Cía (Lighting designer 1) Arquitectura y Paisaje (Landscape designer) ALS (Lighting designer 2) FOTOLETRAS (Signage designer 1) OAC (Signage designer 2) Norberto Chaves (Visual Identity consultant) Mauricio Wiesner (Solid Waste management consultant)


Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá


Javier Callejas Sevilla Federico Cairoli Andrés Valbuena Enrique Guzmán G


A convention center needs to accommodate as many gatherings, assemblies, banquets and stage sets as possible. This project maximizes flexibility by combining specialized and generic spaces throughout the building and by favoring vertical over horizontal circulation. A thorough cost and performance analysis resulted in maximum efficiency in terms of resources invested, without compromising the ambitious technical, architectural and environmental aspirations of the client. Ágora-Bogotá stacks its program in 5 main levels: the main lobby on the ground floor paves the way for two levels of meeting rooms and event spaces. Level four houses an elevated sky lobby, preceding the main hall on the fifth level, where up to 4000 assistants can be gathered. The complex gravitates around a large central void, revealing the building´s activity and favoring the orientation of its visitors, who ascend through a spirally laid out system of escalators. Accompanied by illuminated screens and incorporated digital signage, the void breaths the dynamism of the great public spaces of the contemporary city. Transparency is the dominant characteristic of the project, highlighting the structural over the decorative. Scarce materials, a continuous pavement, translucent ceilings and glass walls reveal the operation of the building to the visitor from the first glance onwards. Four concrete cores structurally support and organize the project, coinciding with the main vertical transportation and service systems. Carefully designed metal trusses are left uncovered to become protagonists in the building´s central void. The vast areas of the complex thus attain a material continuity that fuse into a unified architectural experience.


Ágora-Bogotá is part of a major urban regeneration strategy promoted by Corferias, the city´s fair and exhibition complex. The initiative aims to develop the fairground towards the grand avenues close by, transforming an old industrial quarter into a new urban centrality in the geographical heart of the city, halfway between the historic center and the airport. Initiated by a public-private partnership, Ágora-Bogotá contributes to the economic, political, academic and cultural development of the community, on local, regional and global scales. Its specific events, as well as the economic activity generated by its visitors, positions the complex as a powerful catalyst of urban and social development. In order to liberate public space in the dense surroundings, the project seeks verticality in a compact building with a stacked program in 5 levels of meeting rooms, lobbies and service areas. Around it, public spaces of different appeal are arranged: civil, congregational and green areas, each of them vital to this part of Bogotá. Inside, the concatenation of lobbies, halls, terraces and balconies challenges the classical separation of interior and exterior and stages the project as an encapsulated fragment of the city, establishing a dialogue with the city`s urban landscape and its impressive mountain backdrop. Its rational design and the desire to be noticeable as a space of encounter, provides the building with a notorious presence, aiming to become part of Bogota´s collective conscience and imagination.


The project employs an active breathing envelope in response to the city´s particular climate. Natural lighting and ventilation provide a level of comfort unparalleled in the convention center building type, with minimal energy consumption. Sophisticated technological systems are in place, located behind the translucent ceiling panels and in floor boxes, providing endless ways to arrange events and operate the building. The equatorial mountain climate of Bogotá at 4º N and 2650 MAMSL, with stable average temperatures (13,5°C) but high daily fluctuation (0 to 25°C), calls for a specific approach to climate control. Pursuing free cooling, a breathing glass façade captures fresh air, treats it acoustically, and by natural draft, circulates it through the building. The facade perspires, as the fairly high U-value (4.5 W/m2K) allows for heat exchange with the outside. Ranges of translucent and opaque screen prints provide low solar factors to critical areas and expose other areas to heat the building naturally. Rainwater collection, landscaping and a permeable covering of the surrounding public spaces complement the set of sustainable strategies. The project draws on sophisticated control systems to achieve optimal energy efficiency and comfort levels. Temperature and CO2 sensors in the meeting rooms activate the façade´s "gills," motorized windows that regulate air inlet and make the natural ventilation strategy visible from the outside, reflecting the constant mediation between changing indoor and outdoor conditions.

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