Argos Center for Innovation

Located in EAFIT University, in front of Medellin Riverside
Above an open first floor, two opposed façades enclose and define the space.
Emplaced, yet characterized in context.
Blending the city landscapes indoors.
Observing city through concrete viewfinders, apologue to scientific research.
Plans of second and sixth floor. Variations in volume.
Lengthwise section. Sculpting the ground to emphasize accessibility and circulation.
Dynamic façade with single element.
Working areas depict technologic development.
Tree preserved as important pre-existence.
Corridors mediate between two atmospheres.
Project blends with campus through first floor and corridors.

Primary Author

  • Lorenzo Castro Jaramillo

Contributing Authors

  • Yezid Ropero Triviño (Workshop Manager - Architect)
  • Ricardo López Rodríguez (Architect)
  • Jan Henao Granda (Architect)
  • Felipe Delgado Londoño (Architect)
  • Cristina Hermida (Architect)
  • María de la Torre Crane (Architect)
  • Antonio Garcés. (Architect)

Author

  • Cemento Argos

Photographer

  • Lorenzo Castro Jaramillo
  • Sergio Gómez
  • Juan Esteban Vergara

Objectives

The building, ship anchored to campus, seeks to encourage encounters between scientific, academic and construction private sectors, in order to benefit from the interactions and active coexistence, enhancing their abilities to generate knowledge. Argos Center intends to acquire the attributes of a ship that carries, as a guiding oracle, a group of highly capable people and the equipment required to comply the quest for innovation with the highest standards. In the project, science, arts and myth merge into a building with no barriers. Above an open first floor, two opposed facades and two boundary less fronts enclose the space. The east and west facades, as well as filters for light, noise, and pollution, are meant to accentuate a visual quality that makes technology the statement; the mythical narrative of Greek Giant Argus inspires the western façade, facing the city through multiple concrete viewfinders, apologue to scientific observation; the aesthetic versatility of art influence the eastern façade facing the campus; both of them, made possible through the technology of concrete, are defined by the usage of a single mutable element. In terms of spatial needs, the project targets free transit from the entrance to the upper terrace, through corridors and stairs that surrounds the main program and aims direct visual interaction between observer and labourer in every step of the investigation process. Through the project, the campus means to not only extend freely within the building and interrelate communities, but also broaden its limits by blending the city landscapes indoors.

Context

The EAFIT University, private education institution in Medellin, has occupied the east bank of the Medellín River since 1970, isolated by the boundaries of the Regional highway and the metro train’s line beside the river’s contour. Having grown hermetically through the years, the campus has developed inner landscapes expected to supply the need of wide-open space. In accordance to its context and with a strong intent to constitute areas suited for research, yet appropriate for the academic community, Argos Cement Company in alliance with EAFIT, promoted the construction of an Innovation Center that would trespass the borders of campus, not only through knowledge, development and research, but also through a spatial concern that intended to erase boundaries, both within and outside the campus. Emphasizing the development of an environment suitable for interactions between academics, scientists and professionals, reinforced by a constant relation with the urban context, the project seeks to assemble a place where its various users are able to engage creatively and where the main purpose of the building, technologic developments for cement and concrete, become an explicit manifesto of the built work.

Performance

By correctly seizing a border location and a strong presence towards the riverside, the building’s urban premise is embodied; while establishing a direct relationship with the city through an iconic façade that interacts with the landscape, it also reaches out to the inner campus by involving a different perception of the building’s qualities, both, highlighting the scope of concrete versatility and its ability to contain space without constraints. Simultaneously, the project enhances the university’s urban perimeter by creating better pedestrian spaces and improved accessibility, not limited but upgraded by a free flow from the entrance, which guides to the stretched and sculpted first floor straight to the terrace and viewpoint to the city, through fluent corridors and a diverse array of balconies and lookout points. The project’s strategy to welcome the campus into the building and emphasize scientific innovation is counterpart by the awaken of curiosity and multiple perceptions experienced by any individual inside the building, not only through the atmospheres and elements encountered throughout the visit, but also due to the direct contact with scientific environments, equipment and professionals, approachable from the outside circulation. The building is, therefore, field for multiple activities and synergies that allow beneficial relations between different fields of knowledge alongside with a total freedom towards the academic community and the curious visitor to get in contact science, technology and innovation

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Located in EAFIT University, in front of Medellin Riverside