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A Gate For San Joaquín

Part 1 Project 2003
Nicholas Tansella
Pontifical Bolivarian University | Colombia
Project is located in San Joaquín, a neighbourhood which has lost its identity as time has gone by filling its public spaces and streets with solitude and sombre.
The Entrance Door to San Joaquín is born from a general urban proposal called “sewing between neighbourhoods” which pretends to sew, to connect Medellín’s neighbourhoods without letting them lose their particular identities but meeting their needs.
The park was first freed from a blocking housing building, “Edificio Libertadores”, recovering empty space as a prelude to the neighbourhood’s new vitality.
This intervention demanded from the project the reinstallation of 20 families inside an L-shaped occupation diagram which surrounded and defined a central space containing a park.
The double-height ground floor is destined for the neighbourhood general use, with spaces for educational purposes and a public patio directly related with those existing in the contiguous houses. Spaces for pottery, planting, sewing, music, dancing, and computing workshops, for example, are provided; as well as spaces for alternative activities like a musical café and the playing of video games; all of which are part of the neighbourhood’s everyday life.

Nicholas Tansella

The building, exploring the concept of public space and in search of areas of opportunity inside the existing urban structure through observation, projects an urban door as a key piece in the construction of neighbourhood.
But, what does public mean? What are the attributes of these architectural spaces? Is the condition of what is public defined in any way by any variable which could be considered constant? or which could define a building typology? What role does urban structure play? What kind of city are we expecting to build? All of the above are the questions waiting to be discussed more than resolved along the project’s development.
The project explores then all these concepts and manages to release dynamics that induce the restoring of the neighbourhood’s vitality; respecting pre-existing typological features architectural language, building heights; as well as offering an opportunity for social interaction, a key element for the recovery of our cities.

Mr Gerard Bareham
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