2014

MCHAP

Botanical Garden Culiacan

Tatiana Bilbao S.C.

Culiacan, Mexico

April 2012

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Tatiana Bilbao/ Tatiana Bilbao S.C.

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Arturo Barbosa/Paralelo (Contractor) Lara Becerra, Emiliano García/TOA (Ecology Landscape) Patrick Charpenel (Curator)

AUTHOR

Sociedad Botánica y Zoológica A.C.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Iwan Baan

OBJECTIVE

We developed a master plan that integrates landscape, botanic and art, including services that could allow this new program to merge and give a complete reference to any visitor. We developed a pattern to design the master plan, taken by tracing the branches of a tree that belong to the garden and adapted to what existed and what is needed. A set of buildings such as cultural areas, educational facilities, laboratories, green house, storages and administrative offices with public services were developed according to it. Curator Patrick Charpenel commissioned 40 of the most renowned artists to insert pieces of art that can dialog with the site, the society and the nature. Seven main areas have been developed to that in total hold 16 different small pavilions that are fragmented but grouped to allow all the different programs to perform. Built Educational Facilities compound is formed of three separate buildings: an educational room for kids and teachers for workshops; a 100-seat auditorium for different kind of screening or lectures and a service building Open-air Auditorium is a place for 70 people where a seven-minute video tour of the garden will be screened, as an act of introduction to the visit. This space is only covered by the shadow of the surrounding trees to give fresh open air to its users Under construction Laboratory and curatorial services Market and Café Phase 3 Cultural Facilities, Greenhouse North and south access.

CONTEXT

Culiacan is a city in the northwest part of Mexico, 80 km away from the Pacific Ocean coast with a population of more than one million inhabitants. For the last 30 years there exist a Botanical Garden specialized in tropical plants with more than 750 species. Besides its plant variety, the garden is designed to allow users to have different leisure activities, such as sports, open-air picnics or simple rides to enjoy the landscape. With the intention of offering Culiacan’s population a new place to learn and improve their quality of life within a contemporary cultural environment a project to enhance and enrich the visitors experience for the Botanical Garden was conceived. The publicly owned and free of charge garden, has been upgraded by a group of donors that have financed this new project to raise the quality and importance of the place, the botanical collection and to introduce a new experience allowing several very important contemporary art pieces to be installed.

PERFORMANCE

We work with the environment, the surrounding materials, hand labor and techniques, opening channels of communication between the various social sectors, and detonate productive activities that enable different aesthetic experiences our intention is to correctly reinforce social and urban tissue. The strategy to understand the place and not imposing program but blending it to the existing garden allowed people to continue to spontaneously use and do everyday activities. The two most important objectives of our design intentions where to enhance the botanical experience with its educative purposes and to allow people to involve with art in a culture that does not has nor has ever had art as everyday activity. Culiacan society has started to be part of the discussion crated by the reflective opinions on the performance of art, enriching the culture though dialog within society. The design intention of the fragmentation of the program to its minimum possible allowed us not only to do a less impact on the ground, but also to continuously remind you that you are in the middle of a botanical garden. The intervention we do continuously is trying to dialog with the existing improvised design of the garden, but mostly supporting the spontaneity activated that visitors have developed though the years, the garden thought its 8 years that this intervention has been transforming it has increased its visitors 240%, now a days it’s the most visited site in the city and certainly one of them most important reference points of the city.