Thanks to our friends at Actes Sud publishers, we’re giving away four free copies of ‘Simon Vélez Architect. Mastering Bamboo’, a strikingly illustrated monograph on the work of the free-thinking and highly respected Colombian architect, with photography by renowned architectural photographer Deidi von Schaewen.
In this first installment of our new series featuring the work of renowned architectural photographer DEIDI VON SCHAEWEN, we take a look at a unique exhibition of Colombian architect and bamboo-master Simon Vélez’s work, currently installed in the grounds of La Bambouseraie in the South of France. (by Simon Keane-Cowell)
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Hotel Finca el Retorno by G Ateliers Architecture, photo by Gustavo Valencia
This holiday home is part of a whole complex 2 hours drive north east from Medellin, Colombia in a region with exceptional conditions for ecological tourism development. Situated on steep slopes each of the approximately 100sqm houses is half buried in the terrain, seeming as if the structure emerged from it.
'ORQUIDEORAMA' - Botanical Garden of Medellin, photo by Sergio Gomez
The Colombian architects Camilo and J. Paul Restrepo realised together with Plan B Arquitectos this highly functional canopy for the Botanical Garden of Medellin, Colombia – a roofing which manages to create an especially good climate for the sensitive flora underneath. The honeycomb like metal structure is covered with slats made of pinewood and provides shading from direct sunlight – a necessary substitute for the shade provided by large trees in the open jungle. Extensive polyester tiles collect the rainwater that gets conducted by a pipe system into the ground.
Parque Biblioteca España. Photos: NoéMie Schwaller
In areas of urban underprivilege and unrest, libraries can improve the quality of life. Based on the urban development model of Chicago, a library park has now sprung up in Medellín, the second-biggest city in Columbia. With its growing textile and mechanical engineering industries, the capital of the Antioquia district in the upper valley of the Porce has developed into an economic centre since the middle of the twentieth century. In contrast the development of the city itself has brought tremendous challenges, with a problematic structure created by internal migration, population growth and the shanty towns which have sprung up.
Parque Biblioteca España by Giancarlo Mazzanti, 2007
Five libraries make up the library park and they are all located in socio-political problem areas. The three black blocks of Santo Domingo Savio stand out like a challenging manifestation of culture in a location of hope and uncertainty. The five-storey interior forms an area of brightness, as if it were flooded by the light of the knowledge collected here and by fresh air. The blocks are connected with one another in an organic way.
The cable car is part of mayor Fajardos' efforts to improve the infrastructure of Medellín.
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