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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Saur 2021

21 A Library Hovering in the Chapel in Bogotá, Colombia

From the book New Libraries in Old Buildings

  • Gabriella Karl-Johnson


The chapter considers the potential of repurposing disused religious buildings for use as libraries and examines an exemplary model of library adaptive reuse in a cultural heritage context: La Capilla, the Biblioteca Satélite de Arqui­tectura y Diseño at Universidad de los Andes/University of the Andes (Uniandes) in Bogotá, Colombia. The author outlines the La Capilla project in detail, including the larger context of adaptive reuse in the Uniandes campus and in Bogotá. The architectural strategy used in the La Capilla conversion was an almost freestand­ing structural insertion placed inside an unaltered historic shell. The history of the Uniandes campus and the city of Bogotá is explored. Two other church to library conversion case studies are briefly examined to conclude that architectural inter­vention in culturally significant buildings can enhance public understanding of history while simultaneously serving library programmatic needs.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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