William McDonough + Partners Unveil Universidad EAN Project Legacy

Alongside Universidad EAN, William McDonough + Partners (WM+P) celebrates the opening of a new academic building in Bogotá, Colombia today. Aptly referred to as Project EAN Legacy, the building illustrates the possibilities of Cradle to Cradle® and circular design with a focus on the Latin American construction sector. 

“Colombia has a rich, diverse culture so for Universidad EAN, the goal of our design has been to not only inspire those coming through the school, but to also inspire the district and all of Bogotá,” said WM+P Founder William McDonough. “It is a milestone for a university to adopt Cradle to Cradle in its curriculum, and I am excited to see EAN stimulate the next generation of entrepreneurs with this kind of circular economy thinking.”

One of the most prominent features of the design is the building’s WonderFrame™ shade structure, a perpetually reusable/recyclable structural system created by McDonough. The WonderFrame has repeatedly been used for a temporary pavilion at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, the ICEhouse™, but the opening of Project Legacy marks the first permanent and largest overall installation to date. The metal armature is clad with multi-colored perforated panels, metaphorically invoking tree leaves and celebrating Colombian culture. The triangular panels provide shade while simultaneously admitting daylight and providing views; demonstrating both material and energy efficiency. 

“We call it the WonderFrame™ because we wonder what we can do with it, but it is very simple,” said McDonough. “It’s what we call a product of service. It’s acting as a shade for this building while giving it color and light, but it is also designed for the circular economy because it can be disassembled for continuous use.”

Another notable feature of Project Legacy is its embrace of natural ventilation perfectly tuned to the temperate climate.  Fresh, filtered air is introduced through grills above the windows, constantly replenishing the air supply and avoiding the need for recycling. The system is well suited for a post-Covid learning environment.

Solar chimneys, transparent tubes heated by the sun, draw air through the building and exhaust it at the roof. The building is the first to implement a new verification protocol for engineered natural ventilation systems in Equatorial Climates, developed by Bogotá-based environmental engineering consultants (and design team members) for the Colombia Green Building Council to standardize the use of natural ventilation as a LEED energy effectiveness strategy. 

Click here to learn more about EAN Project Legacy.