Culture is a vital part of urban life, however cultural facilities are often limited to affluent areas. Developed by U-TT in collaboration with an international network of partners, the Fábrica de Cultura: BAQ will provide a new space for teaching creative arts and traditions centered around Barranquilla‘s famous Carnival. Initiated by the municipality, the facility will extend access to cultural education, especially to residents of the impoverished Barrio Abajo. The low-cost design, which utilizes local materials and processes of prefabrication, adopts open building principles to establish a framework that can be modified and reprogrammed by users over time. Working closely with engineers from the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, as well as experts in sustainable building technology from the SuAT Chair at ETH Zürich, the aim is to develop a flexible building prototype and construction system that can be replicated throughout the region. The Fábrica de Cultura: BAQ project is sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and coordinated by the Inter-American Development Bank as part of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative.


Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner


Diego Ceresuela Wiesmann

ETH Zürich

Arno Schlueter, Philippe Block, Gerhard Schmitt, Rudi Bauer, Lea Ruefenacht, Marie Grob, Sofia Avramopoulou, Jimeno Fonseca, Prageeth Jayathissa, David Lopez, Marcel Aubert, Tomas Mendez E., Marta Domenech

Universidad del Norte

Manuel Moreno, Fabian Amaya, Ricardo Vives, Andres Guzman, Guisselle Garcia, Antonio Bula, Augusto Sisa, Daniel Soto, Luis Villadiego, Lasidez Ripoll, Guardo Polo, Victor Cantillo, Pedro Otero, Daniela Cohen

Segreteria di stato dell’economia (SECO)

Dagmar Vogel, Cliff Hammer, Jerome Wieser, Christian Sieber, Natalia Mayorga, Gregoire Labhardt

Banca interamericana di sviluppo (IDB)

Ellis Juan, Andres Blanco, Horacio Terraza, Ramiro Lopez Ghio, Oswaldo Porras, Luis Manuel Espinoza


Luis Fernando Arboleda, Maria del Rosario Hidalgo, Maria Lourdes Lacouture, Paulo Sanchez, David Montero, Vanessa Alvarez

Alcaldía de Barranquilla

Elsa Noguera, Afif Siman, Paola Sarabia, Yehoshua Sanchez, Yino Marquez, Cristian Pacheco, Alejandro Navia, Eder Hernández, Mario Zapata, Nivaldo Castro, Emilio Zapata


Secretary of Culture, Municipality of Barranquilla, Colombia


State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)


Art & Music, Education, Social center


Barranquilla, Colombia


8,600 m2


5,000,000 US$


2013 – 2016


Completed project