Julio Mario Santo Domingo Library Park

Diana Wiesner: The Santodomingo Library and its spacious contribution to Public space has been of extraordinary benefit for the population in the northern districts of Bogotá Usaquen and Suba. More than a library it is a cultural centre, offering possibilities for different educative and interdisciplinary activities. The cultural centre is located in a 55.000 m² public park, supporting and complementing the spirit of it as it reflects where knowledge leads. The man gets back to nature, the more he understands, the more he respects his context. Existing plants have been mostly respected, and meanwhile a whole process of ecological restoration has begun.

Recovered public space for (among others) native plants, which will have an important input to water, animals and insects. For example the hummingbirds, which have still a compound in the mountain Conejera situated close to the library. An inevitable relation between the library and the park exists. The visitors of the cultural centre and the library can take a break or a walk and also get inspired from the inside of the building by the view of nature. The connection is also reflected by the flowing of the outer landscape into the building openings, not only in the upper levels, but also in the underground parking lots, where the dark corridors get lightened by a natural solar light, giving life to plants and above that to the parking lots. Concrete walls on the buildings facade are being well decorated by floral games and native, large-leaved “Yarumo” trees.

The Parks do act like an educational force as well. They show with respect the different plants, which have been forgotten by the inhabitants of Bogotá. Also influencing directly in life of the users as something necessary for the development of our society and important for the healthy life of the individuals, in a psychological and physiological way. An outstanding element is the division of the park in areas and rooms structured by coloured plant carpets or permeable surfaces of recycled materials such as crushed brick or tree cortex that are normally not used in public spaces in Bogota.

Exploring, sitting, reading or just for taking a breath the Park functions as an independent room for all kind of social and individual activities, in an area of Bogotá with limited public and green spaces. The cultural centre, placed in the 170´s street is home for people with all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds and includes different educational institutes such as kindergartens, schools and Universities. These represent the 18% of school-aged population in Bogotá and now have the possibility to share this common space.

Location: Bogota’ Colombia
Year of construction: 2010
Area: 5000 m2
Landscape Architecture: Diana Wiesner
Architect design: Daniel Bermúdez Samper
Image credits: Daniel Olarte, Francisco Jaramillo


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