Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Legacy of Rogelio Salmona

The entrance to the Archivo Nacional, just south of La Candelaria, one of Rogelio Salmona's many works in Bogotá.
Pedestrians walk along Jimenez Ave., the Eje Ambiental,
designed by Rogelio Salmona but never completed
and now sadly neglected. 
Rogelio Salmona is unquestionably Colombia's most famous architect of recent times. Born in 1929 in Paris, the son of French and Spanish Jewish parents, Salmona's family moved to Bogotá in 1934. He grew up in the Teusaquillo neighborhood, and after the Bogotazo violence returned to France to work for years with famed architect Le Corbusier.

Returning to Colombia in 1957, Salmona taught in the Universidad de los Andes and designed many buildings and other structures which have become landmarks, mostly in Bogotá, but also scattered across Colombia.

Salmona's works are known for their brickwork, their curves and for being open to and integrated into their surrounding environments. With their quiet pools and interior patios, they seem to bring the outdoors inside. Those characteristics also show the deep influence of Arab/Moslem architecture in Salmona's style.
The Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center in La Candelaria. The building was designed by Salmona and built by the Mexican government in honor of the Nobel-Prize winning novelist, but contains nothing about the writer. 

Las Torres del Parque, behind Bogotá's bullfighting stadium. The complex curvers around the stadium, and was supposed to house people of all classes, but now seems to be inhabited by the wealthy. Salmona lived in one of the towers during his final decades. 
The Jorge Eliecer Gaitan house-museum, which has never been completed. 

A view of the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco and its contiguous park, which forms part of the Parque Simon Bolivar. 

Visitors cross bridges in the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco.

A pathway to the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco.

Pools and pathways in the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco.

Pools of water at the entrance to the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco.

Pools and bridges at the Biblioteca Pública Virgilio Barco.

Entrance to the Postgraduate Social Sciences Building on the National University's Bogotá campus. 

Brickwork on the Postgraduate Social Sciences Building on the National University's Bogotá campus

A pool in the Postgraduate Social Sciences Building on the National University's Bogotá campus

Students relax in the Postgraduate Social Sciences Building on the National University's Bogotá campus
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


mauricio forero l said...

Whats up Mike!!!
I Love his buildings, they are so elegant, somehow mysterious, and worm. To me he was one of the most important architects os the twentieth century. His work is Bogota and, when I think on my city his work is always there. Any way Miguel, as a suggestion and, knowing how busy you are, I wonder if you can go farther in to Bogota's territory and visit some other neighborhoods and places where you may find more stories and interesting stuff to photograph.

What about:
Las Ferias.
San Cristobal.
La Calera.

I don't know Miguel, but Bogota is big and so full of stories. Ok dude, let me know!!!

Miguel said...

Hi Mauricio,

Thanks for your comment. I also admire Salmona increasingly. I wish I had time to explore other parts of Bogota (or even leave the city, which I haven't done for years), but I'm more busy than you can imagine.



mauricio forero l said...

I know Mike!!! :)