Andrés Bäppler was born Colombia. The architect worked in various architectural offices and then became self-employed with partners in Frankfurt and Berlin. In 1998 he was appointed to the Association of German Architects BDA.
After traveling to his homeland, he began to realize a school for the children in Montebello with his Colombian brother and his community in 2003. To this end, he founded non-profit associations in Colombia and Germany together with his wife and friends. Since then he has initiated and developed educational projects for destitute children and young people in Colombia. Schools, training workshops, libraries, and learning forests were created. In the process, he got to know the local bamboo called ‘Guadua’ as a building material and appreciated its potential, from which he developed buildings and bridges.
The most important realization during this process was the experience that it makes little sense economically and ecologically to subjugate oneself to external materials and systems instead of focusing on local, available resources and developing them further in an architectural language that eventually also leads to a local identity.
He initiated three International Congress events – VIVAGUADUA, the Bamboo Festivals 2011, 2013, and 2015 in Cali- Colombia and was the host and responsible organizer with Fundación Escuela para la Vida. These congresses were attended by interested people from all five continents. Lectures at international symposiums, architectural centers, and universities followed. In 2019, Andrés Bäppler co-author of the Laufen Manifesto was awarded the Special Award for his pioneering work in building with bamboo in the ‘First World Prize for Contemporary Plan Fiber-Based Architecture’, the ‘’Fibra Award’’.