Día 34


Campos de Paz and Biblioteca Pública Piloto

Día 34 | 3 de octubre


Today I ended my day in the barrio of Suramericana visiting one of the two original Pilot Public Libraries in the world sponsored by UNESCO. But before reaching the near west side barrio of Suramericana I checked out Felipe Uribe de Bedout’s, Templo de Cenizas y Crematorio (Temple of Ashes and Crematorium) at Campos de Paz.

Designed in 1998, the Crematorium follows the design style consistent of Uribe’s other project’s in the city. The only major difference is the heavy focus on crafting views of light, as light is a major component in funerary art design.

Sky lights
light shafts in the columbarium hall

I think it’s important to see the other side of religion based architecture, to view the parallels between the two and how in different ways they pull at one’s soul to invoke feelings of remembrance. In all, it helps complete a religious chronicle all geared towards the afterlife.

After my visit to Campos de Paz I hopped on the metro to travel crosstown to the barrio of Suramericana, home to Suramericana insurance corporation, a major insurance and investment company in Colombia. Of interest to me today was Biblioteca Publica Piloto, currently one of only two Pilot library’s started by UNESCO in the world. A Few years after it’s creation UNESCO chose the countries of Colombia (1952) and India (1951) to implement Pilot Library projects. Since it’s initiation Biblioteca Publica Piloto has served as an vital educational center in the Antioquian department, facilitating bookmobile service to outlying comunas as well as bringing the concept of the lending library to fruition in the region.

Before the establishment of Biblioteca Piloto, Paisa’s were highly literate, this all extends from Medellín being a center of importance during the modern art and literary movements in the beginning of the 1900’s. A period where great writers like Fernando González and poets like León de Geoff helped to spurred a literary movement in the region while also forwarding the transition from romanticism to modern literature around the world.

Biblioteca Pública Piloto
Main Reading Room

Of particular interest to me was how much of the stylistic embodiment of the UN was reflected in the building’s design. Being only the second United Nations built site I’ve ever visited, one could see parallels in design the arc throughout the Library. From the instinctive UN blue to the 1950’s international style, the building felt like a literal transference of UN headquarters in Manhattan.

Below, a few pictures from the day…