Design Line
Friday, September 25 2015

B|HA’s Carlos Bethencourt Recognized in IDB Urban Lab Competition


We dedicate much attention to sharing the work our talented staff accomplishes in the office. We are excited to share the success one of our architectural staff members recently experienced through his participation on a team of young designers and faculty professors in the IDB URBANLAB 2015 competition.

Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS’ Carlos Bethencourt participated on a design team that received an honorable mention for its submission to  IDB URBANLAB 2015. Of 180 total applicants, Carlos’s team (with five others) advanced to the semi-final round, the only American team to do so.

An international university competition, IDB Urban Lab 2015 invited applicants to develop a sustainable and multi-disciplinary urban project in the historic, industrial Curundú neighborhood in Panama City. The competition is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and is a part of their ongoing Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI), which helps intermediate cities in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region to improve their environmental, urban and fiscal sustainability.

In addition to Carlos, the team was comprised of three students and one faculty professor from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic (Julian Sanchez, Eddy Arias, Amanda Simo and Marcos Barinas-Uribe) and one student and one faculty professor from the Catholic University of America (Jorge Cornet and Carlos Reimers, Ph.D.).

“Because Latin America and the Caribbean constitute the second most urbanized region on the planet, IDB Urban Lab 2015 provided a professional and personal opportunity to reflect and explore various innovative solutions to improve the quality of life in the region’s rapidly-growing cities. Although Panama is currently experiencing a great deal of growth, neighborhoods like Curundú are not receiving the benefits of that growth.  Curundú is a township in Panama City with an abundance of history and culture — yet it endures an excess of both crime and poverty.  In attempting to tackle these problems, our team’s approach was to first gain an understanding of the social and built environment of Curundú while pinpointing the major problems therein, and to then develop strategies that address those problems while still respecting the existing context.”
-Carlos Bethencourt

CURUNDú – eng. subt. from Ana Endara Mislov on Vimeo.

The submissions from the top 30 contestants will be exhibited at the IDB Headquarters through October 2nd between 9AM and 6PM on weekdays.

Intern-American Development Bank
Atrium (main entrance)
1300 New York Ave, Washington DC

See the Catholic University of America / Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra Team Submission: 

ENTREGA BID UL_030 (1) Page 001

ENTREGA BID UL_030 (1) Page 002

ENTREGA BID UL_030 (1) Page 003