In Bogotá, Colombia, students will soon be learning all about sustainability principles in their new academic building at Universidad EAN. The building will utilize the ‘WonderFrame’ shade system, created by ‘cradle to cradle’ designer William McDonough its founder! His modular system incorporates perforated panels that simultaneously create shade yet allow daylight to filter in (much in the same way tree-leaves do on summer days).


The endeavor is called Project Legacy, and it is McDonough’s first cradle to cradle-inspired building in Latin America. The roots of the system were first crystalized as a temporary structure at the 2016 World Economic Forum (Annual Davos Meeting, Switzerland). Each module includes around 30 perforated and painted steel sheet triangles. Although permanent in this design, they can easily be dismantled to change the way light enters the building in response to any future demands.



The system derived from investigation into inexpensive structural wall and floor solutions. From there developed a more flexible adaptation for color, solar collection, lighting and shade (the system hopes to further incorporate planters in the future!).



WonderFrame makes up around 85% of the building’s façade and the design reflects rich Colombian colours and patterns. However, this skin is only part of the building’s overall sustainability credentials. In its attempt to secure a LEED Gold award, the building will also incorporate ‘solar chimneys’ (allowing for natural ventilation) and rooftop solar panel installation (to provide further power for the building). Finally, ‘cradle to cradle’ fabric for auditorium seating will form an aspect of the building’s material contribution.



On campus over the construction period, Universidad EAN students will be accompanying the overall design team’s progress in the hope of inspiring students to create and monetize their own future ideas.

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