San Rafael Park is a 1,200 ha urban green space development within the El Sapo Protected Natural Reserve in Colombia.
The development is particularly located in La Calera town, approximately 30 minutes drive from Bogota DC city center. Reportedly, all the activities projected for this development are passive recreational activities due to the strict requirements in terms of natural protection.
It (San Rafael Park) is designed in recognition of 6 areas namely the landscape units, the reservoir, the native Andean forest, the beach, the north meadow, the eastern meadow, and the water treatment station.
These areas are preserved in respect to their current natural conditions, and reinforcing their growth by means of a landscape design prioritizes the native species and protects them from foreign ones and, at the same time, allows the addition of recreational activities that will be focused on the natural values of each area.
The architecture in this development has a unitary design, based on the historical “Haciendas” by using white continuous render façades and inclined roofs, which permits a unitary perception of the nine buildings in the park that are designed to occupy only 1.5 ha of the entire project site (1,200 ha).
In the face of this historical approach to the conception of the materiality and volume of the buildings in San Rafael Park, there is a deep thought in terms of sustainability and respect for the natural conditions.
All the buildings and pathways employ “dry construction” techniques, which means neither concrete, cement, nor foundation that can affect the natural conditions of the environment are used. In addition, the structures are lifted at least 50 centimeters from ground level to avoid any damage to the land, water currents, and other natural elements.