Archives for category: 2ᵃ semana

It’s all a balancing act, right now I need sleep for the busy week ahead. I’m sitting in on a few class this week at UPB, interviewing some of the students and professors while also squeezing in the chance to talk to more of this city’s amazing Architects.

As soon as I can squeeze out some time in between sketching, interviews, site visits and exploring the city, the blog will be fresh and full.

Check out Friday’s site visit to the Coliseo (Día 12), at least one post for this past week is up!

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A Sunday downtown

Día 14 | 13 de septiembre

Catedral Metropolitana

Sunday, usually my day to stay in and clean house (literally and figuratively) for the week that’s past and the week ahead, but I couldn’t resist going downtown to check out the Catedral Metropolitana and filling in some pages in my sketchbook. Unfortunately by the time I arrived to the Catedral all the services for the day were done.

Besides the Cathedral, I wandered another fantastic downtown pedestrian way, paseo Junín, and finished up some sketches done day’s prior.

Something of growing interest is the uptight nature of security guards in Medellín. Although I haven’t commented on it before, a curious Architect snapping pictures, idly staring at buildings, and being places… the public doesn’t typically wander, draws attention quickly. In general, security (both public and private) are always quick to question me and  my intentions for sketching and photography.

This itself brings on a greater conversation over how Medellín is coping with the reality that it is now a tourist destination and that most of its buildings are attractions to architects and tourist alike.

The main issues I’ve had with security guards have always been around public infrastructure (e.g. the metro, Rio Medellín), shopping centers/malls and any private building downtown. Today outside the Coltejer tower I was questioned by some guards who were puzzled over my sketching of the building’s main entrance. As always the case, after explaining that I’m an architect, the guards relented and allowed me to continue on sketching.

Below are a few shots from the day.

viaje a la barrio de Santo Domingo Savio, 1

Día 13 | 12 de septiembre

Metro Cable

Metro Cable

Today I ventured up to the hillside barrio of Santo Domingo Savio to ride the Metro Cable and to See the famed Biblioteca España, designed by Giancarlo Manzzanti.

Prior to the instillation of the Metro Cable (2004) and Biblioteca España (2007), Santo Domingo was one of the most violent and disconnected barrio’s within the city. Travel up to the barrio from the valley floor took an average of half an hour via vehicle and over a hour on foot. Neighborhood students had only the library available at school for reading and as for the residents, their only option for a lending library lay in traveling either towards the city center to Biblioteca Pública Piloto or one of Piloto’s subsidiary libraries. In all, this wasn’t an area of the city to find the best of city services.

But through the interventions that have been made along the Metro Cable the barrio of Santo Domingo as well as the greater comunas (communities) of Popular and Santa Cruz have been transformed into a better environment for all.

below, a few pictures from the day…

Coliseo Site visit

Día 12 | 11 de septiembre

Coliseo de Baloncesto

Coliseo de Baloncesto

Today I tagged along with some of the design team at OPUS to Check out the Coliseo project on the Stadium grounds in Medellin. The Coliseo is a collection of four arenas being built for the 9th South American Sports Games, to be held in Medellin from the 9th – 30th of March 2010.

The arenas
1.  Coliseo de Baloncesto (Basketball)
2.  Coliseo de Gimnasia (Gymnastics)
3.  Coliseo de Voleibol (Volleyball)
4.  Coliseo de Combate (Combat Arts)

The Coliseo is the brain child of Giancarlo Mazzanti, an architect considered to be one of the most preeminent today in Colombia and Felipe Mesa, one of the Medellín architect’s I interviewed yesterday. Although there are four different arenas to the project, the Coliseo is seen as one because of the roof.

The roof, inspired by the topography of the nearby Nutibara Hill, will weave from one arena to another to unify the structures and to provide a covered space for the fans of the games to circulate. The roof’s reflection to nature is also a harking to a greater push in Colombia for cities to express their connections to nature, a connection that most Colombians don’t consider cities having.

Below are a few shots from the day…

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