Spring '14

Fabrica de Cultura

Designing for an Emerging Colombian City

Design Studio

  • Start 18.02.2014
  • ETH Zurich, ONA
  • Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg & Prof. Hubert Klumpner
    Hannes Gutberlet, Katerina Kourkoula, Danny Wills
  • Scientific Advisors: Alice Herzog, Lea Rüfenacht
  • Collaborators: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla Universidad del Javeriana, Bogota Giancarlo Mazzanti (El Equipo de Mazzanti)


This studio’s aim is to develop individually designed buildings for performance and cultural education in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. We will ask if architecture integrated in an urban context can change the lives of underprivileged people by developing building-types and programs developed out of a particular local context. Cases in Medellin and Bogota show successful examples for investigating local cultures and translating the findings into physical spaces. Through an analysis of the urban context and an exploration of cultural, educational and recreational building typologies, students will design their own architectural proposals for a city facing great dynamics and transition. Taken together, these projects will form the overall strategic vision – a network of houses of culture to transform the city of Barranquilla into a “Fábrica de Cultura,” a cultural factory.

The Brillembourg & Klumpner Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), will address the problems and identify the potentials of Barranquilla in order to propose sustainable architectural solutions to the challenges that face this emerging city in transition.