Bogotà (Colombie), Humedal « Juan Amarillo »

Mission de Maîtrise d’œuvre complète
Maitre d’ouvrage : Fondation Holcim
Budget : 2 M€ éq
Performance : Sustainable construction
Concours 2008

Bogota natural wetlands are considered like one of the most important systems of inundable lands on the north of the Andean Cordillera.
Acting like ‘sponges’ for the Bogota river and its tributaries, they perform as water regulators for the local ecosystem, as well as nature reservs, sheltering and feeding all kind of endemic plants and animals (essentially birds and reptiles).

However, during the first half of the previous century, this precious areas are dramatically decreasing, threatened essentially by a large-scale urban development and a lack of knowledge about their ecologic function and value.
Regrettably, for most of the citizens, theese are often viewed as wastelands rather than a resource that if managed properly will make a significant contribution to ecosystem and people’s livelihoods.

The idea of creating a natural swimming pool, based on the wetland process of natural water regeneration, should provide a sustainable development alternative to this specific areas, and encourage other pedagogic and recreational projects to preserv and save this valuable ecosystems.
Located next to the central zone of the “Juan Amarillo” wetland, the building proposes a swimming pool where half of the space is devoted to aquatic plants, specially chosen to provide a natural treatment of the swimming water, not using any chemical product not like a conventionnal swimming pool.

The design consists on a main central swimming area, protected by a high glazed wall structure, and surrounded by planted zones. Enclosed in a larger envelop, the space between the interior and the exterior glazed walls is occuped by the regeneration bassins.
In this way, all around the swimming pool area, the ‘cleaning’ bassins zone constitute a greenhouse gallery, where visitors can discover local plants into their habitat and learn about the natural treatment process, while observing the surrounding wetland.

Suspended from the ground by a concrete structure not to alter the existing soil, the building challenge will be to operate as possible in an autonomous way : without supplied energy and able not to generate other waste than cleaned water.
Indeed, as well as the swimming pool doesn’t need constant emptying, only evaporated water will be refilled by the mean of a rainwater harvest system. Furthermore, the glazed envelop heating the swimming aerea and retaining warm, solar pannels louvered above the glazed roof should provide enough energy to feed the mechanical pumps and filters.

The overall project purpose is to generate a constructive (vs. destructive) urbanism, serving the wetland city areas, and providing public facilities for environmental recreation and education as well as an alternative source of income for the local community.