Parque Biblioteca Belén

Día 29 | 28 de septiembre

Biblioteca Belén

Water Pond Cloister

Today I went towards the southwest sector of the city to visit Biblioteca Belén. Biblioteca Belén is named after the comuna for which it’s situated. Designed by Hiroshi Naito, Belén is the only Library Park designed by a non-Colombian Architect. The Biblioteca is similar in the programmatic function of it’s sister libraries, having a play room for children (Ludoteca), Mi barrio room, Adult and Children libraries ample public spaces and an Auditorium. What Belén offers it’s residence besides these basic functions is a chance to explore a bit more about Japan and Japanese Architecture; the Biblioteca offers a room solely dedicated towards Japanese literature and culture and the entire campus for the library park is skillfully planned to mimic traditional Japanese Buddhist monetary design.

Plan Sketch

The best attribute of the park is it’s ability to stitch the linear gap that use to exist between the surrounding neighborhoods to the east and west; The library park is perfectly positioned to link neighborhoods at this critical juncture along Carreras 76 and 80a.

Biblioteca Belén’s park aspects can be broken down into 3 spacial zones…

Park, Cloister, Plaza

with each serving different roles.

The Park, mimics the openness feeling of Carrera 80a by providing a great field for lounging in the grass all while catching sounds of practicing musicians out of the Escuela de Música and Salón de Ensayo (rehersal room).
The Plaza, mimicing the density of Carrera 76, serves as a more intimate setting for outdoor performances with it’s plaza and stepped plinths against the Teatro.
The Cloister, rotating around the tranquility of a motionless water pond are the main service buildings of the library. The use of the largest programmed buildings to surround the pond creates a visual and auditory break that allows one to shed a sense of the outside world and relax into the peaceful world of reading.

I’ve never felt so peaceful as I did today, anywhere in Medellín. I truly felt transposed into a realm of serenity.

Below, a few pictures from the day…