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ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
February 2024 | 27 minutes

The Universidad de Las Américas is the largest private institution in Ecuador. Founded in 1995, it offers 42 undergraduate degrees, in on-site and blended learning modalities, and a wide range of postgraduate programmes consisting of 26 master's degrees and specialisations.

For 27 years, it has been working to provide a student-centred educational experience of excellence. This is why, when it planned the expansion of its infrastructure on the UDLAPark campus, it called Contract Workplaces, a specialist in connecting people, space and technology, who worked on this project together with BMA Estudio.

Architectural Design: Contract Workplaces + BMA
Interiorismo: Contract Workplaces.
Architects: BMA Arquitectos.
Interior designers: Contract Workplaces
Location: Quito - Ecuador.
Size: 32.000 m²
Client: UDLA - Universidad de las Américas
Manufacturer/brand: Actiu
Distribution Partner: Moddo Design


The objective of the project was to have a building that would facilitate the learning of the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century, such as problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation. For this expansion project, the university needed the creation of classrooms, laboratories, offices, a restaurant and dining room, library, auditorium, multi-purpose hall, car park, terraces and accessible gardens, some newly created spaces and others improved and adapted to the new learning needs.

To this end, even before starting, research was carried out following a methodology called Campus Place Strategy, where data was collected not only on the expectations and habits of the future occupants of the new building, but also on the latest trends in pedagogy.


Expansion of the Universidad de Las Américas building open to the surroundings

From the outset, it was clear that the project had to respect and adapt to the existing building and achieve an aesthetic and functional integration in a harmonious whole. The premise was to open up to the surroundings, incorporating the views of the valley and integrating the topography. The aim was to integrate the outdoor and intermediate spaces as places of frequent use by the students. The environment was conceived as a large foyer, as a meeting and relaxation area for the students.

The new building has 32,000 m² distributed over 8 floors and 6 basements incorporating impressive views in its design.

multi-purpose room

Resources/Products used

Depending on the needs of each space, furniture was sought that would fit in with the aesthetics of the new building, but above all with the functionality of the space. To this end, light, multi-purpose tables and chairs were used, such as the Talent table model, which allows each room to be adapted to any activity, depending on whether more or less capacity and work surface is required.

The library area has been equipped with shelves in a combination of light tones.

For these new spaces for interaction and meeting, Actiu has defined a multitude of functional, comfortable and design solutions, with modular furniture, with fluid designs, such as the Wing chairs or even stands, which are highly adaptable to multifunctional spaces.

The transit areas, such as corridors, distributors and anterooms have been equipped with Noom armchairs and side tables. Furniture that helps to generate spaces to disconnect and reconnect at the same time, and where people are the centre of everything.

classroom of the future

Benefits achieved

UDLA now has a building designed to focus on the people who occupy it.

The incorporation of the new spaces allows for activities such as reading, studying, resting, researching, socialising, exercising, working collaboratively and even playing. Key activities and processes in the new learning methodologies, as well as for students' professional and personal development.

Classrooms are now designed to be restructured for different dynamics: lectures, individual projects, team projects, innovation, debate and presentation, among others thanks to versatile furniture that allows for greater interaction; a concept that differs greatly from the traditional design where desks faced the blackboard and the back of the classmates' necks.

Students also enjoy meeting places in both outdoor and intermediate spaces, all in a young and informal style.

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