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Avianca Building

Bogota, Colombia
1 of 6

The building for Avianca airline was the first highrise built in Bogota. It is located in front of Santander Park and is neighbored by three colonial churches as well as a repertoire of modern buildings. In spite of its massive size, 37 stories, and 4 basements, the freestanding structure is pragmatic, of pure geometry, and serene in appearance. One could say that its elegance is the result of a rational search structure and an honesty in its construction.

For the first time in the country's history, the North American standard of construction indices was employed, which allowed for the realization of a free-standing tower, without connecting systems to neighboring buildings. Previously, the European approach was used, where connecting buildings must be taken into consideration when designing and building new ones. The competition was open to both construction practices; all participants opted for connecting to neighboring structures, including Esguerra, Saenz, and Samper. However, the firm quickly leaned towards a freestanding tower and the compliance to the block of buildings was moved to the uppermost levels of the structure, giving it the graceful and slender aspect that characterizes the Avianca building.

The concrete structure is complemented with a floating facade of aluminum, glass, and porcelain enamel plates that give way to completely unobstructed interiors, making it very versatile. One column placed on each of the exterior corners and two central interior columns support the tower's rectangular and subtly buckled outward shape.

Five anti-seismic plates, by way of a great chassis, allow for the rest of the plates to be conventional and light. One of the structural frames is exposed to the entrance hall, as a lovely welcoming gesture by the planner engineer; Domenico Parma.

In the design and execution of this building, a new series of constructional innovations were introduced. The nucleus of vertical circulation, for example, was designed contrariwise from the norm. The elevators' batteries on one side of the building face toward the exterior; as opposed to the interior, of a central vestibule so that they can envelop a shaft that circulates the mechanical installations and the stairs.

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daniele, June 1st, 2017
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