Simon Hosie, who at the young age of 36 has already become one of Colombia’s most popular and prolific architects, said the structure is designed to represent Colombia in all of its glory, beauty, and destitution.
“It’s like a big document about how simple persons in Colombia live,” Hosie remarks. “There’s the complete reality of the country: beautiful people in difficult situations.”
The towering, 46-foot structure of bamboo and steel will feature many aspects familiar to Colombians living in the country’s poorest barrios: clothes hanging on lines, wood boxes strewn about in seemingly chaotic fashion, and over 70 colorful panels painted by residents of one of the poorest barrios in Bogota.
In 2004, a 29-year-old Hosie became Colombian’s youngest architect to win the National Architecture Prize for his work on La Casa Del Pueblo (The People’s House), a bamboo library in the department of Cauca.
In a search for creative influence for his most recent work, Hosie spent over a year in the barrio El Paraiso, translated to “Paradise,” living with and drawing inspiration from the people and culture of the Andean mountain town overlooking Bogota. He frequently spends several years immersing himself in remote villages to absorb their architecture, art, and oral folklore.
As Hosie says, “In this moment, this is not Washington. This is Colombia!”