Bogotá – Who would have thought being eternally suspended in a state of fair temperatures could be something of a design torment? As Bogotá is located some 2,600 metres above sea level atop an Andean plateau, the average temperature year round is 14 Celsius degrees. But ‘average’ is a misnomer; the correct term would be ‘unpredictable’: over the course of one day it can be sunny in the morning, rainy in the afternoon and five degrees at night. ‘That means the weather is both a blessing and a curse: it is fairly mild with a feeling of perennial spring or autumn, but it can also be cold, chilly or wet,’ explained Colombian-born, Brooklyn-based architect Benjamín Cadena.
The nature of the business required the space to provide customers with the feeling of eating al fresco even under bad weather
That detailed first-hand knowledge of the city’s climate came in handy for one of Studio Cadena’s latest commissions, the Masa bakery in the Usaquén neighbourhood. As the nature of the business required the space to provide customers with the feeling of eating al fresco even under bad weather, the architect had to devise an indoors-outdoors relationship that made meteorological sense.
To solve this, Cadena went for an environment of strategically restrained openness. The 700 sq-m space is organized as a group of distinct volumes, modulated by standout elements such as a long concrete bar, a cylindrical wood-clad service station and a multi-tiered seating platform. That means that everything remains connected, with the freedom of moving into a somewhat open plan, yet atomized for intimacy.