Coltejer Building

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Coltejer Building
General information
Type Office
Location Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Coordinates 6°15′00″N 75°33′58″W / 6.25000°N 75.56611°W / 6.25000; -75.56611Coordinates: 6°15′00″N 75°33′58″W / 6.25000°N 75.56611°W / 6.25000; -75.56611
Construction started 1968
Completed 1972
Owner Coltejer S. A.
Roof 175 m (574 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 36
Floor area 42,000 m2 (450,000 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 11
Design and construction
Architect Fajardo, Saldarriaga, Samper and Manjarres
Structural engineer Jaime Muñoz Duque
Main contractor Rafael Pacheco

The Coltejer Building is the tallest building in Medellín, Colombia and the tenth-tallest in Colombia (as of 2016). It was completed in 1972. Coltejer is one of the most important textile companies in Colombia, and the largest textile complex in Latin America.[1] It was founded in Medellín by Alejandro Echavarría on October 22, 1907.[2]

Building history[edit]

Colombia began a skyscraper building era in the 1960s in Medellín. The Coltejer Building was designed by architects Raúl Fajardo, Aníbal Saldarriaga, Germán Samper, and Jorge Manjarres. Its construction required the demolition of the "Junin" theatre and the "Europa Hotel" building.

With a height of 175 metres (574 ft), the Coltejer Building is the fourth-tallest building in Colombia. It is said to resemble a sewing needle, representing the textile company it is named after.


  • Height: 175 metres
  • Area: 42,000 square metres.
  • Floors: 36
  • Parking spaces: 150
  • Elevators: 11

The Coltejer Building can host 40,000 seated people and 168,000 standing people.


A view of Botero Plaza and the Coltejer building in the background from the Museum of Antioquia


The Echavarría family were the founders of two textile companies, Coltejer and Fabricato, and were also involved in coffee exportation and importation of other goods. In 1907, Alejandro Echavarría decided to import four power looms, which he put to work along with twelve workers in the patio of his coffee-processing plant.[3] This was the beginning of Coltejer.

During the Depression era, Coltejer bought discarded looms cheaply from the United States that were brought in on muleback.[4] During World War II, Coltejer was operating some 70,000 spindles and 1,900 looms, employing 4,000 workers in its Medellin plant in addition to those at Envigado.[5]


Coltejer's profits increased by a factor of twenty between 1940 and 1949, from 830,000 pesos to 16,520,000.[6]

Coltejer has a total fabric production capacity of about 60 million metres, of which 90% is used to produce clothing and 10% is to make home textiles.[7] It is also one of the leading denim producers in Colombia. Coltejer works with 67 exclusive distributors and 77 wholesalers in Colombia.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Latin America Economic Report. Latin American Newsletters Limited. 1979. 
  2. ^ Compañía Colombiana de Tejidos (Colombian Textile Company) Coltejer: History of the Company Archived 2007-06-12 at the Wayback Machine., Itagüí, Colombia, Retrieved on May 7, 2008.
  3. ^ Charles Bergquist; Ricardo Peñaranda; Gonzalo Sánchez (1 March 2001). Violence in Colombia, 1990-2000: Waging War and Negotiating Peace. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-1-4616-4669-3. 
  4. ^ Robert Weible (1 December 1991). The Continuing Revolution: A History of Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-9631604-0-9. 
  5. ^ Ibero-Americana. University of California Press. 1949. 
  6. ^ Mary Roldán (21 May 2002). Blood and Fire: La Violencia in Antioquia, Colombia, 1946–1953. Duke University Press. pp. 320–. ISBN 978-0-8223-8369-7. 
  7. ^ U.S. International Trade Commission. Andean Trade Preference Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Drug Crop Eradication and Crop Substitution, 13th Report 2007, Inv. 332-352. DIANE Publishing. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-1-4578-1724-3. 
  8. ^ Textile Outlook International. Economist Publications Limited. 1996.