The convention centre designed by Daniel Bermúdez (Colombia) and Juan Herreros (Spain) received an Acknowledgement prize for their vertically-stacked structure that minimizes building footprint and maximizes outdoor public space in the heart of Colombia’s capital. After five years in design and construction, the 64,000-square-metre convention centre opened in October 2017 by hosting the World Summit of Young Leaders.
Ágora Bogotá is set to be the first sustainable convention centre in Colombia with LEED™ Gold certification. The USD 120 million building represents the beginning of a deep urban transformation that aspires to change the dynamics of events and conventions in the region. With business tourists spending USD 410/day, or five times that of holiday travellers, the centre not only contributes to the hotels, restaurants, transport, private security, interpreter, event management, logistics and tourism sectors but is projected to contribute more than 1% of GDP to Bogotá’s economy within its first four years of operation, and host more than 200 large events per year.
The LafargeHolcim Awards jury praised the project for establishing a dialog between the fields of architecture and engineering, with both disciplines mutually informing one another, ultimately combining state-of-the-art technologies with formal expression. The deployment of high-tech mechanical systems is done with restraint, leading to an architecture that appears noble, quiet and discreet – technology not for technology’s sake, but at the service of users, architecture and the environment.
Ágora Bogotá features a 4,000-seat main exhibition area, up to 17 fully-equipped rooms for hosting multiple events for up to 2,500 people simultaneously. The on-site kitchen has a capacity to produce 2,000 meals, underground parking with 1,055 spaces, and an open-air pedestrian passageway linking to the existing exhibition centre of Corferias.
Construction required excavation of 135,000 square meters of earth; 59,558 cubic meters of concrete; 4,122 tons of steel; 437km of cables for electricity, fibre optic, internet, and telephony; 16,470 square meters of glass. The building is capable of circulating 95,000 cubic meters of air per hour using “active breathing” natural ventilation systems, as well as storing 56 cubic meters of rainwater used for flushing toilets.
Tourism for meetings and conventions accounts for almost one-third of total tourism revenues in Colombia according to the Minister for Commerce, Industry & Tourism, María Lorena Gutiérrez. “The opening of Ágora Bogotá is great news for tourism, and strengthens confidence in the sector”, she said.