Barranquilla Public Spaces

Globalization in our world is associated with the generic and the commonplace. Uniformity has become a global epidemic and placelessness is now an integral part of our everyday lives. The project for five, new, public spaces, located within Barranquilla, Colombia’s historic city center, is conceived otherwise, and returns to the profound lessons learned from the past (the not so distant past) where the city’s unique architectural and urban development was the result of a confluence between nature, building and local folklore. To this end, the project explores the potential to create spaces of cultural specificity where the colloquial and the vernacular participate in the composition and construction of the contemporary city.

The project includes the redesign of the Plaza San Nicholas, the city’s emblematic public space; the Plaza San Roque defined by new program (largely a rectory serving the adjacent cathedral) that supports a large, hovering, roof which serves to protect the city’s inhabitants from the intense tropical heat; the Paseo de las Palmas with its broad canopy of native acacias and palms, the Plaza de las Palmas with its new cultural center and grandstand; the Plaza San Jose, and finally the Plaza del Hospital with its new school.

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