Positioned at the top of the mountain in Medellin is the Biblioteca España or Spain Library . The ultra modern designed black library is located in the northern part of the city in a neighborhood called Santo Domingo Savio. Much like a volcano rises from the earth as it emerges in birth, so too does the Biblioteca España. Three massive non symmetric geometric buildings house informational library resources for Medellín’s citizens. Instead of serving as passive repositories of textual and book knowledge (although they do harbor small collections) the buildings main focus is housing a myriad of programs, resources, and services dedicated to all ages with an emphasis on small children. Access to the library and to the neighborhoods above can be reached by taking another one of the city’s landmark attraction – the Metrocable.
The Design of Biblioteca España
We wanted to take people from this poor community into another world and change their reality
The Colombian architecture firm Giancarlo Mazzanti located in Bogota was awarded the public contracts in 2005 to build Biblioteca España. The 11,500 square foot project was completed in 2007 with a cost of almost four million dollars. It’s stark contrast to the area combined with its ultra modern cubist design makes it stand out in a big way. In fact, it is almost impossible to keep you eye off of as you travel up the side of the mountain in the gondola that is known as the Metrocable. As you get closer to the library, you will notice that it is covered in black stone tiles. The windows are laid out in a non-symmetric grouping and are rectangular and small. Daylight enters the building through a series skylights that run under the periphery of the roof. The limitation of windows was one of the intentions of the architect in an attempt to disconnect people from their contextual surroundings. The architect stated that, “we wanted to take people from this poor community into another world and change their reality”. The views from the Biblioteca España and its patio areas are amazing on a clear day.
Since opening to the public in 2004, the Metrocable has become yet another icon of Medellin. It is a must see activity that will enable visitors & travelers to travel in a “gondola” to the top of the eastern facade of the city. Here, one can see the city below from a bird’s eye view and what a view it is! The Metrocable is a 1.2 mile, 4 station, ski-lift type system that integrates with the larger Metro system serving the city. Conceived to improve the mobility needs of the densely inhabited northeastern hills of Medellin, the Metrocable connects with the Metro Station Acevedo station. Here, the passenger may transfer at no additional cost and continue his/her journey to the top of the mountain.
Here is an informative new report in English regarding Santo Domingo Savio and the Medellin Metrocable.
Location of the Biblioteca España:
METRO STATION: ACEVEDO