Argos Innovation Center


TYPOLOGY: Science and Innovation
YEAR: 2012
LOCATION: Medellín, Colombia
CLIENT: Cementos Argos – Universidad EAFIT

Private competition by invitation by Eafit University and Cementos Argos.

For this project, our design set out to make the building as an open document.

The project is similar to the idea and purpose of a gothic cathedral, whose façade and surface tell a story. Therefore, we designed the façade as a a narrative of the industrial process of concrete, and also to describe construction systems over the years.

On the ground and first floor, monolithic limestone upright slabs support concrete plates, evoking primitive dolmens. On the second floor, a stack of hewn, mid-sized rocks houses the laboratories, which need very little natural lighting. This layer created the impression of a Roman building. The third floor employs a mixed system of glass and smaller rocks, bringing in more light; the rock surface evokes pre-Hispanic constructions.

Prefabricated, terracotta-stained concrete was used on the fourth floor that provides a home for various animals, plants, and birds, reflecting the fact that Medellín and the university are located on the flight path of migratory birds. Finally, the fifth-floor façade is clad in translucent concrete.

The idea was not only to show this stratification in the construction, either with rock or powder treated with the latest technology, but also to construct a gaze on architectural processes over time.