Parque San Antonio y Plaza Cisneros

Día 5 | 4 de septiembre

accent lighting along eastern facade
Today I started out trying to find a cable stayed suspension pedestrian bridge I kept spotting from the metro near San Antonio Station, unbeknownst to me this bridge connected to Parque San Antonio, a good piece of public space in the heart of Medellín.

bridge into Parque San Antonio

At first glance this public space didn’t capture my imagination as it invoked the memory of an atrociously defensive designed plaza in downtown Miami, the Metro-Dade Cultural Center; in my opinion, an unfortunate dud in urban design by Philip Johnson. To clarify, the only similarity these two public spaces have is that the plaza levels of both are raised above street level. Over the course of wandering and discovering more of the park as a space that stitched into the surrounding neighborhood, it grew on me as a good piece of architecture and urban design that met and dealt with different conditions along it’s perimeters.

Interesting to note is the Fernando Botero sculptors in the park (4). The most visited and recognized of the four has to be these two birds

Two Birds
Two Birds

The wrecked one, is the original. It was destroyed during one of the last grand acts of senseless violence that took place within the city 14 years ago.
The whole one, it’s replica/surrogate.

Both serve as a monument to those who died and as a testament for peace. It’s great to see that in a city that has progressed so much from the days of the infamous Medellín drug cartel, a semblance that they aren’t afraid of their once gloomy past, they use it as a reminder to everyone on how far they have come.

After hanging out in the Park for a good portion of the afternoon I decided to go a few blocks west to Plaza Cisneros. I purposely waited until the sun went down to make my venture to Plaza Cisneros because within the plaza lays four groupings of  50ft. high illuminate columns. To my dismay, upon arriving I was informed that most of the columns weren’t functioning. It’s ironic that the building complementing the plaza, biblioteca epm, is a public library sponsored by the local public utilities company, epm (empresas públicas de Medellín).

Regardless of the non-illuminate columns, the main intent of these two parings isn’t lost, the figural and literal concept of knowledge. Plaza Cisneros is more than just an open space that adds to the sequence of public plazas along Avenida San Juan, it’s poetry come to life.

With Knowledge comes an enlightenment,
of one’s soul and one’s heart,
With knowledge comes an illumination,
darkness cannot tear apart,
With knowledge comes a rejuvenation,
To begin a brighter day,
With the knowledge cultivating here,
Darkness will never fray.

Below are a few shots from the day…