Rogelio Salmona



With the death of Rogelio Salmona, Colombia has bid farewell to its most renown architect. Born in Paris to a family of Sephardic origin, Salmona returned to the French capital to study at the École des Hautes Études with Pierre Francastel and to work at Le Corbusier’s studio, collaborating in projects like the Maison Jaoul. The ten years of training in Europe were crucial, helping to define his own rhetoric of brick and to link it with the vernacular architecture of Colombia, country to which he moved for good in 1959. His first commissions were housing blocks, social condensers of a well-to-do middle class, such as the Del Parque Towers (1968) in the center of Bogotá, a project in which the concern for the preservation of public space and the adaptation to the environment prevailed in the design. Imbued with a profound social and political commitment, the oeuvre of Salmona includes projects like the Casa de los Huéspedes de Colombia (1987), or the Virgilio Barco Library (2001), in Bogotá. In 2003 he was awarded with the Alvar Aalto Medal; Salmona is the only Latin American architect who has received this prestigious prize.

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