Required earthquake reinforcement was the starting point for an overall renovation of the embassy residence. In addition to new kitchens and bathrooms, the existing service kitchen is to be converted into a family kitchen and broadly opened up toward the garden. The garden at the rear will be opened up and made usable for receptions and events, with a surrounding glass roof. A family room is to be created on the private upper floor, which can be opened up toward the staircase, with generous glazing, as a private living room. The interventions on the ground floor remove the previous strict separation between the ambassador’s area and staff area and create space for contemporary egalitarian living.

The decoration of the prestige rooms combines individual furniture items that are full of character. Furniture pieces are treated as “mobili” — i.e., as mobile, ephemeral and transitory elements that are only temporarily housed in the residence, just like the ambassadors and their families. Transformations of form and material give old and familiar items a strange and fresh appearance. This alienation technique, well known from Surrealism, makes it possible for everyday and strange elements, comfort and bewilderment, to coexist.

The superb garden, some of the plants in which are protected species, will be supplemented by specialists so that the diversity of the local flora is expressed in the different areas of the garden. Paths and terraces will be newly finished in local brick, and new lighting will be installed.

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Programme: Ambassador’s residence with representative rooms, private areas and service areas
Client: Bundesamt für Bauten und Logistik BBL
Gross floor area: 780 m2
Project Status: Built