As a starting point the unit will explore through models the initial shape of 1 Ha
plan (10.000m2) high-rise building of 150m maximum height. This will be first developed in a purely intuitive manner using different materials easy to manipulate, such as paper, cardboard, cloth, foam, cables, wood and metal sticks. A range of schematic shapes should be initially generated at various scales that will be later used to define formal ideas. This initial models should be a test of what later will be the final material model at 1/250 (40x40x60cm- maximum volume)

Reference Book:
– Bois, Yve-Alain: Geometric abstraction: Latin American art from the Patricia
Phelps de Cisneros collection, New Haven : Yale University Press, 2001.
– Valérie Vergez: Jorge Oteiza, Anglet: Atlantica, 2003.
– Eduardo Chillida: Sculptures and works on paper, London : Annely Juda Fine Art, 1992.

Pin-up of this first exercise will be on Friday 7th of October (place tbc).

Unit brief


Re-imagining the high-rise building in Bogotá


Land scarcity and population growth are today’s major problems of Latin-America metropolises. In order to address these pressing issues, building heights liberalization was approved in Bogotá by the Decree 562 in 2014 to densify its existing urban territory. As a consequence, megaprojects and high-rise buildings are indiscriminately happening across the city.  While most of these proposals are accomplishing high levels of densification, out-dated high-rise schemes are generating unexpected urban-based conflicts, fuelling land privatization, disconnection to urban context and social disengagement.


Following this situation, Intermediate Unit 8 will explore alternative models of high-rise constructions for Bogotá by deeply engaging with infrastructure, context and public services. Students will work on a high-rise mixed-used building located in the recently planned metro line- connected to the well-known Transmilenio system- using as a reference 10.000 m2 footprint area and maximum height of 150 metres, matching Bogotá block’s average area and tall buildings generic height in the city. Continuing the legacy of radical public urban proposals in Bogotá and Medellín, for which Colombia is internationally known, student proposals will test the incorporation of public programmes clustered around housing units to service a minimum of 5.000 users, thus multiplying by 10 the existing city density.


The aim of this year brief is to open our imagination on how vertical living could eventually be by seeking different ways of subverting the typically privatized character of the high-rise buildings and investigating its potential civic role within the city, its different ways of engaging with context and its possibility to support innovative collective ways of living. Continuing Inter 8 academic structure, material, formal and urban investigations will be conducted across the year, putting an important emphasis in model making as a design tool. Comparative analysis and research between the verticalization processes of London and Bogotá will be addressed to engage with a more transversal critical conversation on our cities today.