2022

MCHAP

Science classrooms Building

Fischer Arquitectos

Bogota, Colombia

January 2020

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Guillermo Fischer, architect, MBA

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Construction contractor, Structural engineer

CLIENT

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota

PHOTOGRAPHER

G. Fischer

OBJECTIVE

The project is based on the student experience, in buildings whose typology consists of elongated galleries with a central circulation where the classrooms are arranged in a row, either on one side of the corridor or on both, a typology analogous to the Siedlung.
The main intention of the project is to generate meeting spaces, build a community among students and teachers, and this implies breaking the common typology on campus: Buildings that consist of a central circulation with classrooms arranged in a row, with no meeting places inside the buildings, nor outside given the large scale of the green spaces. This typology is similar to that of prisons and hospitals, spaces that can be described as alienating, due to their lack of informal meeting spaces with no relation to the natural environment.
Thus, the proposal to make a building, where there are open spaces between each block of classrooms, breaking with the typology since the separation of the classrooms did not imply an orthogonal conformation. Rather, by having a building with multiple small-scale meeting spaces between them, freedom of forms is generated and it is not necessary for the spaces to be orthogonal and they can have other shapes. I decided to create spaces with an oval floor plan, directly related to the uterus, places where we feel warmer and more nourished than in the orthogonal ones, allowing the green continuum to pass through and correlate to the other buildings.

CONTEXT

This building is located on the campus of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, belonging to the Faculty of Sciences.
The Campus, with an area of 1,213,000,000 square meters and a constructed occupation area of 172,000 square meters, has an open space ratio of 29 square meters per inhabitant, while Bogotá, one of the densest cities in the world, has a ratio of 4 square meters of public space per inhabitant, making the campus an oasis within the city.
Leopold Rother, of German origin, was inspired by the German siedlung and the master plan originates in 1937. Its urban conformation was taken for the conception of the UNAM in Mexico DF and the Jose Carlos Villanueva campus in Caracas.
I could summarize the original conformation of the plan. A large continuum of green space, on which the buildings are located in isolation, without breaking the continuity of the green plane.
This original plan has been disfigured by constructions made in the 1960's. This building observes the guidelines of the new master plan that ventures to recover the original idea.
The Faculty of Sciences is experiencing problems in the depleted capacity of its classrooms, due to the deterioration of some buildings that do not meet anti-seismic standards, and the conversion of some classrooms into offices. To resolve this, it is necessary to erect a building to meet the current needs.
The project is part and parcel of the master plan to recover the original concept of Master Leopoldo Rother.

PERFORMANCE

The project is based on the student experience, in buildings whose typology consists of elongated galleries with a central circulation where the classrooms are arranged in a row, either on one side of the corridor or on both, a typology analogous to the Siedlung.
The main intention of the project is to generate meeting spaces, build a community among students and teachers, and this implies breaking the common typology on campus: Buildings that consist of a central circulation with classrooms arranged in a row, with no meeting places inside the buildings, nor outside given the large scale of the green spaces. This typology is similar to that of prisons and hospitals, spaces that can be described as alienating, due to their lack of informal meeting spaces with no relation to the natural environment.
Thus, the proposal to make a building, where there are open spaces between each block of classrooms, breaking with the typology since the separation of the classrooms did not imply an orthogonal conformation. Rather, by having a building with multiple small-scale meeting spaces between them, freedom of forms is generated and it is not necessary for the spaces to be orthogonal and they can have other shapes. I decided to create spaces with an oval floor plan, directly related to the uterus, places where we feel warmer and more nourished than in the orthogonal ones, allowing the green continuum to pass through and correlate to the other buildings.