The pandemic has hit Colombia’s capital city hard, causing widespread unemployment and a flood of business closings, including more than 22,000 restaurants by the end of 2020. Facing a socioeconomic crisis, a team of designers is helping government leaders in Bogotá reinvent spaces in ways that allow for people to gather safely and support the local economy.
The latest project is Amphitheatre La Concordia, which opened in mid-December. As part of the government’s Bogotá a Cielo Abierto program, La Concordia plaza was transformed into a U-shaped, multi-level structure that can serve as a market, restaurant and open-air venue for concerts, live performances or even movies.
By using scaffolding to build vertically, the team was able to increase occupancy—safely. It was the same technique Colab-19 had relied on another outdoor marketplace, La Perse, in August. This time around, there is a little more dramatic flair, with a green rooftop offering city vistas and a performance space.
“Our design solution was to move the theater to the outdoors, so the amphitheater idea was born, with the façade of the heritage building as the scenography of the stage and a koilon divided into three services: retail, dining and public space,” Colab-19 says on its site.
Sheets of traditional Colombian jute, a translucent natural material used to create bags, divide each section. By sourcing these materials locally, the team kept project costs down. And the structure was designed to have benefits beyond the pandemic: Though durable, all of the materials used to create it, can be disassembled and used for other projects.