España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - CityscapeEspaña Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Cityscape, ForestEspaña Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Image 4 of 33España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Windows, FacadeEspaña Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - More Images+ 28

Santo Domingo, Colombia
  • Architects: Giancarlo Mazzanti
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  5500
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2005
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers:  Arquitectura y Concreto, Colombit, Golden Glass, Lehner, Manufacturas Munoz, Metechno, Pavco, Yale

Text description provided by the architects. Background and needs

The Project is located on one of the hillsides that have been affected by the violence since the 80´s because of the drug traffic network that operates in the city of Medellin. It is part of the government's social master plan program to give equal economic and social opportunities to the population.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Image 4 of 33

The program asked for a building with library, training room, administration room and auditorium on a unique volume. The proposal was to fragment the program in three groups: The library, the rooms, and the auditorium; then join them with a bottom platform that allows flexibility and autonomy, improving the people's participation considering each volume operates independently.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Image 6 of 33

Justification of the adopted composed solution

Medellín is geographically mountainous.

The city is located in the north of Los Andes mountain ridge, one of the most topographically broken places of Colombia. This geography defines the identity and the image of the city. This image is precisely what the project aims at, it intends to integrate itself into the landscape and become an interpretation of it.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Windows, Facade

Architecture as landscape

More than a building, it proposes the construction of an operative geography that belongs to the valley like a mechanism of organization of the program and the zone, showing the unknown directions of the irregular mountain contours, not like a metaphor, but like an organization of the form in the place, a folded building cut like the mountains. A landscape building that redefines the folded mountain structure in form and space, nullifying the idea of the landscape like a background and encouraging the ambiguity building-landscape.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Cityscape

Justification of the urban insertion of the proposal

The Project is organized in two structures: the first one is the building - landscape (rocks) and the second one is a platform that integrates and transforms the cover into a square that looks into the valley; this way, the building is empowered as a meeting place, multiplying the connections and letting it develop as a reference point.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Image 12 of 33

The building like an icon

The place is made by small brick houses, product of auto construction; and residue of green areas as a result of the impossibility of construction on it. This organization produces a uniform texture of the city like a building - landscape, like an icon, keeping the tension that already exists. Geography as an element of hierarchy; and architecture as the epitome of texture.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Facade

The Project is noticeable from a big part of the city, allowing it to redefine itself as the symbol of a new Medellín, as a way of making people feel identified and receiving the building as their own. In the present state, the building is one of the touristic points in the city and one of the most visited.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Image 14 of 33

Other Aspects

Ambient and atmosphere

Additionally to make an icon building, the first premise was to develop a construction that, through its interior design, could descontextualize the individual from the poverty that is experienced in the outside creating a warm atmosphere based on natural light, allowing a great ambient of study and lecture. This is the reason why the building takes a timid look into the city trough the small windows that show the relation with the valley, letting the illumination go into the top of the building.

España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti - Table, Chair

Project gallery

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Project location

Address:Santo Domingo, Antioquia, Colombia

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "España Library / Giancarlo Mazzanti" 17 Jun 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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