un entrevista con Ani Velez

Día 30 | 29 de septiembre

Ricardo and Anibella Velez

Ricardo Velez (Left) and Ani Velez (Right)

Today I met with Ana Elvira Velez. A master of Colombian social housing and urban design, Ani is one of the Architects responsible for the revival of the Zona Norte area, coming up with the new plan for the perimeter of Jardín Botanico, kneading the former rugged boarder into a more inviting space with the ability to pull people towards and welcome them into the Jardín Botánico.

Born in Medellín, Ani’s family moved around quite a bit in her early youth. Her father, an Engineer, worked in London for Ove Arup on the Sydney Opera House before going to Purdue University and later on to Jamaica before finally coming back to Medellín.

Ani studied at the Architectural Association where she studied under and later worked for Wiel Arets. While studying in London, her family’s home bacame a quasi Colombian Architectural Embassy for the, then budding, Medellín Architects, of which most came to London to study English language and/or to tour Europe.

My interview lasted a good portion of the afternoon covering a broad range of subjects from her family’s international travel when she was young and how it left an impression on her, to the dichotomy of Social housing approaches within the city today. At the end of the day, Ani took me to see one of her hosing projects, La Playa Apartamentos, on the near eastside of the city.

Here is an excerpt of my interview where Ani explains a bit about what drew her to design and the opportunities that brought her back to Medellín.

A bit later on in my interview I had a chance to peg Ani on social housing on the periphery of the city and her views about it, here’s our exchange.

below, Site visit…