The white building: UNAL

Now that I have been attending university for 2 weeks I think it might be interesting for you guys to know some stuff about it. The National University of Colombia or UNAL or even La Nacho for short, is Huge (yes, with a capital H). Add to the size that most buildings are either white or brick, 25,000 students, and you will probably get lost. My classes are spread out to a few buildings: Sociology (205), Main Social Science (212), Postgraduate Social Science (225), Graphic Design (217), Mathematics (404), and Arts (317). As for Syd, she has class in 238 way at the bottom of the map. Despite being a philosophy major I don’t have classes in the Philosophy building (239) because it’s so small the offices barely fit. Here is a map so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. See if you can find all the buildings by number where our classes are.So far my favorite building is the Postgrad one, it’s all in brick, you can walk on the rooftops, it is beautiful. The architect, Rogelio Salmona, also designed the famous Virgilio Barco library, which is pretty much an extension of the Postgrad building (we’re planning on going to the library soon, so expect a post about it). I also like the Central Library (102) on campus since I spend a lot of time in there. It has tall ceilings and not too tall book shelves. I have found that a few buildings such as Arts and Architecture (303) and Central Library, have an interior identity and an exterior identity, where the exterior one forms part of the homogeneous group of white buildings and the interior one is the individual personality.

At one point the white buildings were a reflection of the architectural concepts of purist cubism they were designed with. Where once white was seen as a purity now it is an invitation to defacement; their white façades are littered with poorly written political slogans. University policy requires the buildings to be painted before the start of the academic term, but this just creates a new canvas for new slogans. The inordinate amount of slogans dissolve together and new slogans lose their meaning as they join the others.

There is a lot to say for La Nacho, but I don’t know it all… yet.

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2 Responses to The white building: UNAL

  1. diyeibroquen says:

    Se me olvidó decirte que el diseño del campus tiene forma de búho (como se puede apreciar claramente en la imagen) que era es el símbolo del conocimiento que “alberga” y el distintivo estudiantil especialmente en los 60-70’s

  2. Ali McLegg says:

    It may be intended to be the form of an owl, but to me it looks like a beetle : )

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