El espacio urbano moderno: el conjunto Tequendama-Bavaria. Bogotá, 1950-1982
ColaboratorPiñón, Helio, 1942-; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament de Projectes Arquitectònics
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
Segregation, discontinuity, and incompatibility are words that well describe many urban spaces, as Rowe and Koetter lamented in the 1970s. Such urban spaces were designed based on a misguided approach of architectural modernity, in which the autonomy of each building has been confused with its segregation, the relationship between the parts with the discontinuity of the fabric, and the separation between the elements with their incompatibility; the consequences of this has been disastrous for the city. However, if a building is designed as both an object and a texture at the same time, and if it is seen as the unity between constructed and open spaces, many of the problems of urban space can be clarified, using solutions that integrate, create relationships, and compatibilize the buildings and the city, interior and exterior, and the constructed and open spaces. To illustrate these problematic issues, we propose to study an urban complex located in Bogota executed between 1950 and 1982, namely, the Tequendama-Bavaria complex (the core of the International Center of Bogota), which is located in the San Diego area near the traditional city center. It is a modern center that was designed by different teams of architects, built over a time span of more than 30 years, and with a complex management process. It has been executed through a modus operandi based on the compatibility of the parts, buildings, and ensemble. The result is a unified urban center that is characterized by ¿humanized urban spaces where an intense social life occurs between the buildings,¿ as called for by Jan Gehl in 1971, referring in the same manner as Rowe and Koetter to the loss of the relationship between the parts of the city. The complex was studied by focusing on three principle issues: the building (in terms of the object and texture, and of the unity between constructed and open space), the connection between buildings (the relationships between volumes and between the ground floors), and the ensemble of the buildings as a center (formal structure, specific uses, and cohesive factors). The response to these issues can be summarized in the different design solutions of compatibility, integration, permeability, and the relationship between the parts, at different scales, based on three basic questions: Which formal criteria and architectural solutions were used in designing each building of the complex? Which solutions were taken to shape the urban continuity between the different buildings, and between constructed and open spaces? And finally, on a larger scale, what type of urban structure, between the buildings and with respect to the city, ensures a feeling of unity of a group of buildings as a center? The Tequendama-Bavaria complex proposes a solution to the dilemma of the free standing building through its duel role as both an occupant of space and a space definer, and as a shaper of texture, by addressing: 1. The individual aspects of the buildings, focusing on the combination of local concessions with declarations of independence, which leads us to study and recognize the building type and its variants, as well as the respective repercussions at the urban level. 2. The relationships that amalgamate the buildings, that is, how buildings produce a texture or a matrix between themselves and between the dialectics of object and space, and solid and empty, through different design solutions. 3. The problem of the center, which highlights that a complex can be considered to be a center when, besides being an important structured receptacle for buildings, it can bring us closer to the possibilities to create poles or focal points and therefore confluence.
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