Palomino Society

Sports-Center Student-Group-Photo Palomino-Cultural-CenterPalomino Society Under Construction, Palomino, Guajira (Colombia) 2010-14

Pontifical Xavierian University

The project takes place in Palomino a small town on the Caribbean coast in Colombia, situated on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its prime location makes it a place obliged of exchange between settlers and indigenous people and its social configuration is a product of the coexistence of divergent cultural principles and cosmologies. The interplay of different groups and cultures undergoing years of war has contributed towards a fragmented environment and a complex social reality. Within this framework the team has joined the Palomino community leaders to help improve the lives of the local community through sustainable architecture and design.

The project’s vision is to provide the town of Palomino with basic services, implement the importance of education while respecting native rites and to help build sustainable peace for future generations. Through the project, team members actively engaged the local community in both the design and building-process giving the townspeople a sense of ownership and pride. The community learned effective use of local materials, moisture protection and bracing. Students helped raise awareness about adequate use of resources, preservation and sustainability. The project will continue to serve as a model for other indigenous peoples or rural societies throughout Colombia and beyond. It showcases creative, low cost, user-friendly designs and urban interventions that has contributed to the recovery of economy of Palomino, enhanced sustainability and improved the quality of life of the local community.

Client: People of Palomino


Students and Teachers of PEI – Program of International Studies, New Territories, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Faculty of Architecture and Design. Director Carlos Hernandez Correa, Antonio Yemail, Santiago Pradilla, César Ramírez Ibañez, Martin Anzellini , Jairo Villegas , Daniel Nadal, Daniel Olarte, Zoohaus, Zuloark, Inteligencias Collectivas, Alberto Escovar (Director Escuela Taller), Estudio SPN (Formed by Juana Canet, Rut Cuenca and Elena Gómez).

Research Question:

How to find new ways to interact with vulnerable communities and find collective solutions to remedy social and economic issues to improve the quality of life in the area while promoting and developing cross-disciplinary research among students and teachers, creating new learning environments, and applying strategic thinking.


+, 101+, Analytical, Architecture, Client-funded, Collaboration, Colombia, Commissioned, Curricular, Extra-curricular, Initiated by institution, Permanent, Pontifical Xavierian Univ., Propositional, Self-funded, Semi-permanent, Sponsorship, Students with tutor, Temporary, Undergraduate, Years