Belen Police Station / EDU

Courtesy of

Architects: EDU
Location: – Medellin, Zona Sur Occidental – Comuna 16 Belén, Carrera 73 con calle 14
Project Team: Arq. John Octavio Ortiz; Arq. Carlos Mario Rodriguez, Arq. Andres Lujan, Arq. Carmen Hurtado, Prac. Arq. Patricia Arango
Construction: Coninsa Ramon HS.A
Project area: 4.098 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of EDU

Courtesy of EDU

This police station is a new effort by the city of Medellin and the National Police organization to initiate a change in the image that these buildings have on the community, making it a role model where the institution is closer to the people.

Courtesy of EDU

A restrictive, dark and dangerous image was changed by these kind of buildings in our cities through history.

It is to build public and institutional buildings that become new centralities that revitalize the urban neighborhoods, and build a public policy for the city.

Courtesy of EDU

3 levels of modern architecture become a 4098 sqm building that takes advantage of the topography of the lot. The basement is for private use of the police, with technical areas and parking lots, The first floor is open to a public plaza and holds some offices for community care, an auditorium with a capacity for 50 people, a gym and a restaurant, this floor is intended for those services to be shared with the community, and the final and second floor is for private use of the police force with bedrooms and common areas.

Along with the building 5632 sqm of public space were built, including plazas, sidewalks, parks, and soccer fields, thereby providing a new central equipment for the community.

Courtesy of EDU

Neighborhood icon:

Taking the architectural concept “Public buildings should be an ICON in the community” as a statement, the architectural building takes protagonism into the landscape and becomes this ICON not only to the neighborhood but to the city as well where public buildings are being built, creating a sense of belonging in the inhabitants, and most importantly, architecture becomes a platform for the state and citizens to have different spaces for culture, citizenship, and recreation.

Courtesy of EDU

Image of the building:

The idea of constructing this building is to create a landmark and a city icon, with beautiful landscape available for the people and visual impacts to create a sense of belonging in the community and in the police force.

Courtesy of EDU

We had to change the image that the inhabitants have of a traditional POLICE STATION which is a dark, gray, closed, restricted and dangerous building and replace it for a cheerful, warm, open and colorful building.

Courtesy of EDU

The building is conceived as a lightbox levitating over the landscape, this is achieved by a second skin of facade on the second level leaving the first level with only one layer of facade to let the building open up to the courtyard to give access to the project throughout a very transparent public access, causing the idea of a levitating building.

Courtesy of EDU

Because of the formal characteristics of the building, it becomes a different place during the night because the second skin vanishes with the lights inside. Making it a lightbox at night and a cheerful, colorful, contrasting building during the day which contrasts with the trees and mountains in its surroundings.

Courtesy of EDU

The building inside is made of concrete walls, which provide a light gray color throughout the space, allowing light to reflect correctly in each location. By having this base gray color the four modules of rooms, that have 4 different colors from 300 FS Perforated PANELS (Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue) give the building a warm atmosphere.

Courtesy of EDU

Bioclimatic and Sustainability:

The materials that conform the building, are the result of a reflection carried out, from the aesthetics, technology and sustainability process conceived throughout the following items:

3d drawing

Durability of materials: the materials used in the project, have a high resistance over time, metallic structures, and technically prepared sheets of metal for the second skin minimize the damage of outdoor conditions.

basement plan

Natural Light: It is essential the presence of interior natural light for the sustainability of the building. In the central space a skylight of 40m of length bathes the central street of the building and illuminates it during the day. In the aisles in the facade, natural light filters through the Micro perforated metal sheet, this material has a special design that allows the inhabitants inside to enjoy the landscape throughout the facade.

first floor plan

Ventilation: The concrete walls, the holes in the front metal sheet and the appropriate management of the building heights helped achieved an appropriate cool climate inside during day and night.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Belen Police Station / EDU" 17 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 Mar 2015. <>