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Wednesday23 July 2014

Foster and Rogers lead way in Bogota

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Practices designing city centre masterplan and cultural centre for Colombian capital

Foster & Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners have both been appointed to work on projects in the Colombian capital of Bogota.

Rogers Stirk Harbour has worked up a masterplan for a site in the city centre, while Foster’s was appointed to design a cultural centre on an adjacent site.

Simon Smithson, partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour, said: “The client owns a really spectacular site in the business district of Bogota — it’s at the intersection of two main axes of the city.
“At the moment I believe that we and Foster’s are the only British firms working there.”

Foster’s has drawn up plans for the Proscenio Cultural Centre, which includes a new 1,500-seat theatre as well as office, hotel and residential spaces. The practice has also designed a public space, the Plaza de la Gente, which features an amphitheatre for outdoor performances, sculptures and water features.

In addition, retail spaces will sit alongside art galleries, bookshops and cultural activities, creating a new destination in the city.

Smithson, who last visited Colombia at the start of this year, said that, although security in the city centre remained tight, the economy was beginning to pick up.

“I think the people involved in construction are looking abroad for ways to do things a little bit differently,” he said. “And there’s a history of design. Architecturally it’s a kind of different take on modernism. It really found a home there.”

Earlier this year Zaha Hadid Architects entered a competition to design an international convention centre in Bogota, but lost out to a local firm.

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