Holcim Foundation


Reservoirs of culture

Strengthening an emerging architectural practice

Columbian practice Colectivo720 envisioned the transformation of these reservoirs into cultural and leisure facilities. “When we awarded the Medellín project, we valued the way in which an infrastructural area had been transformed into an urban site providing a recreational space for the neighbourhood and fostering a sense of belonging in the community,” explains Fernando Diez, member of the jury of the Holcim Awards for Latin America and director of the Argentinian architecture journal Summa+. As a result, the proposal was crowned with a regional Gold Award in 2014, a Global Award Gold in 2015 as well as a Building Better Recognition Prize for Latin America in 2017. These recognitions, in addition to showcasing an exemplary project, had many positive consequences for the development of Colectivo720.

by Jean-Philippe Hugron

“Since then, this project has won other awards at architecture biennials. All this recognition strengthened our emerging practice,” explains Mario Camargo, partner at Colectivo720. Being in the spotlight also enabled the Colombian office to obtain several commissions. “We answered invitations and won competitions on similar themes: the Antioquia Educational Park in San Francisco, the Pradera Volcano School and the Bogotá Film Library. Consequently, our office has enjoyed important growth, especially in cultural and educational facilities programmes,” he elaborates. With these prizes, Colectivo720 found its ‘open sesame’.

Mario Camargo shares his experience in the special edition of international design magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (AA) dedicated to architecture competitions. Read the full interview and jury member comments by Fernando Diez, Director of architecture journal Summa+ and Professor of Urbanism, Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Tatiana Bilbao, Architect, founder of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Mexico City, Mexico. 

Reservoirs of culture: Interview with Mario Camargo (English flip book)

Réservoirs culturels: Entretien avec Mario Camargo (French flip book)

Reservas de cultura: Entrevista con Mario Camargo (Spanish flip book)

DSC_6791a.jpgDSC_6808a.jpgJury comments 

“The project keeps the water reservoirs operational and takes advantage of their circular shapes in an aesthetic and playful way. Water is incorporated in the project, proposing recreational interaction that merges the new and the old use of the place in a visible and symbolic dimension.” – Fernando Diez, Director of architecture journal Summa+; Professor of Urbanism, Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Member of the LafargeHolcim Awards jury for Latin America in 2008, 2014 and 2017.

“The idea of thinking of water as a visible public resource that not only offers an infrastructural solution but at the same time a frame for people’s recreational life is very relevant in our century.” – Tatiana Bilbao, Architect, founder of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Mexico City, Mexico and Member of the Holcim Awards jury for Latin America in 2014 and 2017.

Last Updated: August 23, 2019
Article Details
Medellín, Colombia
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