una entrevista con Carlos Andrés Betancur

Día 9 | 8 de septiembre

OPUS

Today I went to the offices of OPUS | Oficina de Proyectos Urbanos to interview Carlos Andrés Betancur.

OPUS is a design firm started in 2006 by Carlos Andrés Betancur Cifuentes (Known as Betan in the office), Carlos David Montoya (Known as Carlos David) and Manuel Jaén. All three are graduates of UPB-Medellín’s Architecture Program. Betan holds many accolades stemming from his competing in numerous national design competition’s during his tenure as a student at UPB and after in collaboration with different architects. Prior to starting OPUS all three worked on the international design competition for the Antioquian Government’s civic center freedom plaza (Plaza de la Libertad). The project will be OPUS’s first major project built.

My interview lasted a good portion of the afternoon covering a broad range of subjects from the progress of the city (late 80’s/early 90’s), until now and where the city should go next.
Here is an excerpt from the interview where Betan is explaining his opinion on what the city should do next, creating connections back to the river and streams, the valley’s natural elements. Also heard in the recording is Carlos Bueno Rivera, one in total of four Carlos’s in the office. Carlos acted as the intermediary translator whenever Betan or I became lost in translation.

As a quick summary of the recording, Betan explains that Medellín, like most cities in the 20th century, turned its back on it’s main river, the Rio Medellín, and the numerous streams and arroyo’s the fed into the valley. In researching the week prior it was interesting to discover that in a place so rich with nature, there was a conscious effort for the canalization of Rio Medellín and the covering up of the other waterways.

Below, the development of Betan’s sketch and the office of OPUS