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BUILDING
 
 
Biblioteca España - Santo Domingo Savio
Spain Library
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DESIGNER
 
 
Giancarlo Mazzanti

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DESCRIPTION
 
Background and needs
Giancarlo Mazzanti Biblioteca Espana MedellinThe Project is located on one of the hillsides that have been affected by the violence since the 80´s because of the drug traffic network that operates in the city of Medellin. It is part of the government’s social master plan program to give equal economic and social opportunities to the population.
The program asked for a building with library, training room, administration room and auditorium in a unique volume. The proposal was to fragment the program in three groups: The library, the rooms, and the auditorium; then unite them by a bottom platform that allows flexibility and autonomy, improving the people’s participation considering that each volume operates independently.
Justification of the adopted composed solution
Medellín is geographically mountainous
Giancarlo Mazzanti Biblioteca Espana MedellinThe city is located in the north of the Los Andes mountain ridge, one of the most topographically broken places of Colombia. This geography defines the identity and the image of the city. This image is precisely what the project aims at, as it intends to integrate itself into the landscape and become an interpretation of it.
Architecture as landscape
Giancarlo Mazzanti Biblioteca Espana MedellinMore than a building, it proposes the construction of an operative geography that belongs to the valley like a mechanism of organization of the program and the area, showing the unknown directions of the irregular mountain contours, not as a metaphor, but as an organization of the form in the place, a folded building cut in the mountains. A landscape building that redefines the folded mountain structure in form and space, nullifying the idea of landscape as a background and encouraging the ambiguity building-landscape.
Justification of the urban insertion of the proposal
The Place
The Project is organized in two structures: the first one is the building – landscape (rocks) and the second one is a platform that integrates and transforms the upper part into a square that looks onto the valley; this way the building is empowered as a meeting place, multiplying the connections and allowing it to develop as a reference point.
The building like an icon
Giancarlo Mazzanti Biblioteca Espana MedellinThe area is defined by small brick houses, product of self construction; and the residue of green areas are the result of the impossibility of construction in them. This organization produces a uniform texture of the city like a building – landscape, like an icon, keeping the tension that already exists. Geography as an element of hierarchy; and architecture as the epitome of texture.
The Project is noticeable from a large part of the city, allowing it to redefine itself as the symbol of a new Medellín, as a way of making people feel identified and welcome the building as their own. In the current state, the building is one of the most visited touristic points of the city.
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ECO-SUSTAINABILITY'
 
Giancarlo Mazzanti Biblioteca Espana MedellinAs well as being an icon building, the first premise was to develop a construction that, through its interior design, could decontextualize the individual from the poverty that is experienced externally creating a warm atmosphere based on natural light, allowing a great environment for studing and reading. This is the reason why the building takes a timid look into the city through the small windows that show the relation with the valley, allowing the illumination to penetrate through the top of the building.
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LOCATION
 
Continent
South America
Nation
Colombia
District
Antioquia
Province
Area Metropolitana de Medellín
Town
Medellín
Address
Cra 33B # 107A-100 - Sector Santo Domingo Savio - Zona Nororiental
 
 
Telephone
+57.(574).385.75.98
Website
E-mail
sistemabibliotecas@bibliotecapiloto.gov.co
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MAP
 
 

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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for cultural activities
Libraries and media libraries
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for cultural activities
Art galleries and exhibition areas
Education buildings
Children's museums and pedagogical spaces
Information centres and areas
Commercial buildings
Bars, cafeterias
Urban equipment and structures for public areas
Structures for public areas
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2005 - 2006    
Realisation
2006 - 2007
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AWARDS
 
2008
VI Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo
Premio a la Mejor Obra de Arquitectura 2004 - 2006
Lisboa
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Oriel Prizeman, "Typology quarterly: Libraries", Architectural Review 1377, november 2011, pp. 83-95
"Biblioteca Espana, Medellin, Colombia", Architectural Review 1377, november 2011, pp. 94-95 (83-95)
"Biblioteca España, Medellín / España Library, Medellín. Giancarlo Mazzanti", AV Monografías 138, VII-VIII 2009 [Latin America 2010. México, Colombia, Brasil, Argentina, Chile], pp. 36-41
Francesco Pagliari, "Parque Biblioteca España. Medellín, Colombia. Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos", The Plan 32, marzo/march 2009, "Architettura/Architecture" pp. 102 - 114
Beth Broome, "Parque Biblioteca Espana, Medellin, Colombia", Architectural Record 11/2008, november 2008 [Far from our own backyard], pp. 138-147
Giancarlo Mazzanti, "Saved by the Books", Domus 916, luglio-agosto/july-august 2008, "Architettura/Architecture" pp. 77-84
Sergio Fajardo, "A Real Utopia", Domus 916, luglio-agosto/july-august 2008, "Architettura/Architecture" p. 84 (77-84)
"Library Espana descriptive memoir, Medellin, Colombia", A&U 452, may 2008, pp. 98-107
Beatrice Galilee, "One of the most dangerous places on the planet", Icon 59, may 2008, pp. 72-74
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CLIENT
 
 
Alcaldía de Medellín
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AMOUNT
 
 
€ 3.900.000
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
site sq. m. 13.942
gross floor sq. m. 2.960
footprint sq. m. 3.727
public area sq. m. 14.265
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Sergio Tobón, Alberto Ashner
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STAFF
 
Project
Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos
Design team
Andrés Sarmiento, Juan Manuel Gil, Fredy Pantoja, Pedro Saa, Gustavo Vásquez Iván Ucros, Camilo Mora, Alejandro Piña
Construction management
Alcaldía de Medellín, Arquitectura y Concreto
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CREDITS
 
 
Images © Lorenzo Castro Alta, Sergio Gomez
Text edit by Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos
Courtesy by Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos

Giancarlo Mazzanti Biblioteca Espana Medellin



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