Medellin Civic Center Public Space Competition

  • Location:
    Medellin, Colombia
  • Date:
  • Client:
    Municipality of Medellin
  • Team:
    GX Samper Arquitectos, Design Convergence and Enlace Arquitectura
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The proposal to transform the areas surrounding Medellin´s Civic Center comprises 132 hectares of land that has a very close relationship to the Medellin River. Public space interventions connect these areas with the river, which will become a linear park in the future. Public space also organizes and facilitates better connections within the urban fabric, which is currently fragmented by wide vehicular road arteries. 

The site´s relationship with the river and its natural topography create an opportunity to integrate water management techniques into the configuration of public spaces. Streets have bioswales along the edges to capture rainwater and filter it and reduce its volume before entering public drainage systems that end in the river. They also increase the water´stravel time, reducing the risk of flash flooding. Rainwater is collected at various points and utilized for landscape irrigation.

The areas surrounding the Civic Center toward the north east and south are considered apt for a denser city model, 250 people per hectare, with mixed use buildings that have commercial areas on the ground level and housing for up to 20.000 persons above. This creates a more compact urban model that promotes pedestrian circulation, the use of public transportation and diminishes the cost of infrastructure per capita.