Sustainability: the key to this studio's success

  El Matorral  is located between two of Medellín's principal artificial and natural arteries, Calle 10 and Quebrada La Presidenta.

El Matorral is located between two of Medellín's principal artificial and natural arteries, Calle 10 and Quebrada La Presidenta.

The winners of Colombia’s Lápiz de Acero Award, the most notable accolade granted to resident designers, are usually distinguished by their efforts in promoting excellence in architecture and design within the country. From its studios in Bogotá and Medellín, ALH Taller (Arango Lagarcha Hermanos) has worked for the past four years to create sustainable projects that create maximum environmental impact.

 Residences in  El Matorral  take on the appearance of a home surrounded by a lush garden.

Residences in El Matorral take on the appearance of a home surrounded by a lush garden.

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With this year’s award-winning residential construction, El Matorral, ALH Taller takes the term “green building” to new levels, featuring vertical gardens and green rooftops that contain more than one hundred tropical species, and scheduled trickle irrigation that provides water for an entire ecosystem.

A conscious selection of materials including iron, concrete, brick, wood, and others, went into the construction of this project, resulting in a structure made from elements available to the area.

Residents on any level of the five-story building can enjoy-- and are recommended to taste-- the lush vegetation of rosemary, thyme, basil, tomatoes, aloe vera, and lemon trees growing directly outside their window. From the interior, this creates a feeling that their home is located within an oasis as opposed to a bustling city; and to any outsider, the structure seems to have devoured its concrete façade. alhtaller.com

 The five-story building is made of iron, concrete, brick and wood.

The five-story building is made of iron, concrete, brick and wood.