The new Health Complex at the University of Antioquia (UdeA) in Medellin, Colombia represents the creation of an urban nexus bridging the historic campus to the surrounding innovation district. This 50,000 square meter complex combines the faculties, laboratories, and classrooms from various off-campus buildings to create a comprehensive health sciences education facility and a new architectural beacon to the urban revitalization of Medellin.
As the first new architecture outside the historic campus boundaries, the complex form is sculpted by the intersection of the university campus building grid and Medellin city grid. This forms two axes from which the building extends to connect the pedestrian flow from campus into the building and across to the clinic on the other side. This connection path folds vertically as it crosses the site, creating a vertical campus where circulation paths connecting the various floors of offices, laboratories and classrooms are expressed in the building form, showcasing the building activity throughout the facade.
By extending the campus experience vertically, vegetated terraces are carved out to provide new exterior vantage points to view the university and city beyond. The design seeks to continue the traditional campus experience through a contemporary interpretation of spatial interaction, reexamining the archetype of the educational building.