Critique at University of Virginia
Critique at University of Virginia

CITIZEN LAB. Knowing well, working well, respecting other and nature.

This project was developed by Byron Cadena as a student from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.

The project is located in the Middle of the World city, Ecuador, this location is an iconic place in the world with about 400 thousand visitors a year, its population that has 32 thousand inhabitants lacks several facilities since most resources are use to encourage tourism. An education and professional training equipment is proposed to encourage the personal development of the members of this community. The research reveals that more than 50% of the population is under 18 years of age and does not have spaces for cultural and intellectual training outside of educational centers. Furthermore, it is shown that more than 30% of the population is unemployed.

The adjacent buildings are most educational centers and homes built informally, face the large public space that makes up the center of entrepreneurship concentrating a large public activity, transportation and business both informal and formal.
The proposal of the library and the development center constitute a space of 5,200 square meters. The spatial challenge and the questioning of how a development center can contribute to the culture and the appropriation of the citizen, have generated a new typology based on: a collective space where learning and interaction of information goes beyond simple accessibility of these services. Its architecture opens up to a series of scenarios both inside and outside.


The shape of the buildings is shaped like an envelope of the program, a simple and heavy double facade that has a relationship with its macro environment (mountains and streams), this involves an open program connected by a series of ramps and stairs, where they frame the visuals and the entrance of light is allowed by translucent skylights on the roof. A series of brise-soleil and corten steel plates make up the east and west façades where the large amount of sun that is received is diffused, in turn the ventilation is carried out by the chimney effect, these voids are formed by the circulations.

Project Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLkIQkEgvEk