Fall '18

Urban Prototype Design Studio: Cartagena, Colombia

Urban Prototype Lab

Design Studio

  • 18.09.18, 09:30am ONA J25
  • ETH Zurich, ONA
  • Chair of Architecture and Urban Design
    Urban-Think Tank | Prof. Hubert Klumpner

    Prof. Hubert Klumpner, Melanie Fessel, Scott Lloyd, Diego Ceresuela-Wiesmann

    Advisors: Michael Walczak, Integral Ruedi Baur

    Research Partners: Pies Descalzos Foundation (Colombia), Fundación Santo Domingo (Colombia), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO (Switzerland)


How can we design alternative urban paradigms that provide qualities in new town developments?

The studio proposes an inclusive urban vision for a new town development for 25.000 migrants on the edge of the city in Cartagena, Colombia. A new settlement strategy and methodology for urbanization will be designed to grow a village into a city. The design will focus on one central space within this development that provides identity, centrality, and safety. Each student will design a prototypical place/ building type of production, addressing mobility and hybrid programming including work and education.

Colombia is an emerging, middle-income country that faces many pressures of today’s’ global urbanization process. The Caribbean port city of Cartagena is characterized by the tourism industry that is growing exponentially. Cartagena the example of most extreme inequality in Colombia. New high-rise developments along the coast in Boca Grande, UNESCO-Heritage sites, a newly planned airport, gated communities, environmental issues such as flooding and most of the population living in slums are all ingredients of Cartagena’s contemporary condition.

After 50 years of civil war, Colombia is re-urbanizing and discovering its cities.

Ciudad Bicentenario, a new for social mobility, is an ambitious project in Cartagena that will provide 25.000 housing units on 400ha.

City Making requires the definition of the various elements both public and private that make up a city.

Supported by the Pies Descalzos Foundation, founded by Shakira, and Foundation Santa Domingo, the studio will collaborate with associated local and international partners and experts from the fields of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.

The studio provides a laboratory in the real world for testing our ideas.