Simon Velez


The son and grandson of architects, Simon Velez was born in Manizales, Colombia, in 1949. Simon received a bachelor from Universidad de Los Andes in 1968. After graduation, he designed several houses at Orinoco national park with natural materials. Simon who is famous for the use of natural materials in the world, is a representative of Low-Tech Ecological architecture. He designs with a commitment to convert bamboo from a symbol of poverty into a symbol of sustainability.


Simon received the American Society of Landscape Architects 2006 Analysis and Planning Award of Honor for a bamboo bridge in Crosswaters Ecolodge. In December 2009 he received The Principal Prince Claus Award for his contribution towards a positive interaction between culture and development.



This church is in the center of Pereira. The roof is supported by bent Guadua culms, which give a gothic and organic impression at the same time. The supports consist of five Guadua poles, that run from the ground to the roof. Visitors experience a wonderful light interior that is lively as well as devout.


Bamboo Bridge
The bamboo bridge is a landmark piece of architecture in Crosswaters Ecolodge (Nankun Mountain Reserve, Guangdong). There are only three bamboo bridges in the world, and one of them is in China. The bridge is made from bamboo of 12 cm in diameter. It s not a Chinese traditional bridge type, but an umbrella - shaped bridge.