Archivo Nacional / photo by Enrique Guzmán © Fundación Rogelio Salmona
Following the success of the Lina Bo Bardi Fellowship in Brazil, the British Council has initiated the Rogelio Salmona Fellowship, an annual programme aiming to foster links between the UK and Colombia through residencies for British practitioners. The Fellowship gives the opportunity for UK-based architects, designers and artists to travel to Colombia to explore the work of Rogelio Salmona (1927-2007), one of Latin America's most influential modern architects.
Rogelio Salmona is recognised for his use of local materials and his celebration of the civic role of architecture. Born in Paris in 1927, a city that would later shape his work, Salmona started his studies at the National University of Colombia, although he soon moved back to Paris to study and work at Le Corbusier’s workshop while studying Modern Art History with Jean Cassou, and Sociology of Art with Pierre Francastel at the Sorbonne. This period fashioned Salmona’s ideological and political stance on architecture and the city. He returned to Bogotá in 1958, and started working on individual and family housing as well as large urban housing projects; they represent his search for a different rapport to urban space.
Salmona has built an impressive number of projects, and has created what is overall regarded as a coherent body of work. He consistently maintained a series of universal doubts, quests, and intentions, which he decided to resolve and to explore locally. Among those quests was his desire to construct a place beyond immediate determinations, a space moulded by its geographical, historical and social context, suggesting an innovative approach to space.
Torres del Parque, the National Archives, the Virgilio Barco Library, and the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Centre are among Samona’s most influential works. Salmona’s extensive and rigorous professional practice, as well as his new vision of architecture and its urban and social role, have made him a prominent figure in Latin American architecture.
Starting in 2017, the annual programme is organised by the British Council and coordinated by the Colombian cultural foundation Más Arte Más Acción in partnership with Fundación Rogelio Salmona, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (MamBO) and Universidad de Caldas.