2022

MCHAP

Park in the Prado neighborhood

Mayor's Office of Medellín - Secretary of Infrastructure

Medellín, Colombia

May 2021

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Edgar I. Mazo

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Alejandro Restrepo, Érica Martínez, Eduardo Tapia, Mauricio Jaramillo and Nicolás Hermelín

CLIENT

Mayor's Office of Medellín - Secretary of Infrastructure

PHOTOGRAPHER

Isaac Ramírez Marín

OBJECTIVE

Located on a moderately-sloped plot, the geography is gently shaped creating sequences of terraces where plants, animal and human populations are connected around material reuse, the generation of soil permeability to allow for better infiltration of run-off water, and the implementation of traditional, vernacular building techniques. The project is a metaphor for what arises, emerges and grows in a natural way, it is built upon the naturalization of cultural action as a vital principle in the future of the city.

The project originated from the recognition that older structures found on the property -columns and beams, terraces, the full and empty spaces of pre-existing houses- can be transformed into vestiges of the dynamics of anthropization of the geography, shaping and domesticating the landscape. Interior spaces and rooms, formerly inhabited spaces, and inner patios are all incorporated into the project, as part of a process of re-naturalizing domestic spaces, while retaining their capacity to allow for the enjoyment of urban life; the same goes for gardens with their edible, medicinal and aromatic plants, there to support life, survival and pleasure. Spaces that are traveled, recreated and now appropiated as public spaces, places where the inhabitants meet up with the geography that preceded them.

CONTEXT

“In the Aranjuez vicinity, a neighborhood located in the Northeastern commune of Medellin, life in the streets does not only elapses in a base plane of several curvature, well retained by the embossed parameters of the houses, but it also happens in different levels: The relief; its diversity provides high and low reliefs above each row of houses.

The simplicity of this typical and homogeneous shape disrupts, breaks down…

Front yard's, stairs, stairs landing, bridges, are just some of the features that combine and embed in the space: the quicio expands. These physiological and functional conditions are complete when the social group in the vicinity settles. Kids’s games input in this disruption as well as the female neighbors's seat. That is the merging of the inside and the outside… of the go up and go down.

For the unguarded glance, these landscapes hide the explicit aesthetics of the adaptations to the hillside and the construction of the landscape and its inhabitants.”

Excerpt from magazine Circo, Carlos Mesa González. Architect.

Quicio is, in the words of the late architect Carlos Mesa González, a type of embankment that links the street with the entrance of a house. It usually has vegetation.

PERFORMANCE

The use of vernacular building techniques, the use of native vegetation with edible and medicinal properties, and the manual dismantling of structures already present on the property, has allowed for a significant number of local residents to participate in the project’s construction. This process has made possible to build a bond of belonging between the inhabitants and the new park, understanding it as a highly representative stage for the neighborhood and for the city.

For the first time in the city, the project interprets sustainable urban construction policies, through three specific ways:

Dismantling and rearranging
Rather than demolishing, the project emphasized dismantling existing material in the property, thus reorganizing, reassembling, and reusing during the different processes of construction for the new park, giving a new meaning to the material by reducing the pressure of residuals in sanitary landfills and diminishing the demand of new materials.

Water management
Change the management model of run off water in the city, for retention and infiltration of water in gardens making use of it in irrigations, enforcing the growth rate of selected vegetation and its permanence in time.

Vernacular building traditions
Rescue the vernacular / traditional building techniques and the recursive use of second generation materials, in order to introduce to the community the public work as a model of construction.