Although Medellín has opened other public calls which have earned it worldwide recognition for its social and urban progress, this architectural design contest symbolizes not only transformation but the beginning of a space for memory, reflection, and reconciliation.
On October 23, 2018, the Medellín Mayor’s Office and its Urban Development Company – EDU advised by the Colombian Society of Architects, started the first stage of the architecture competition for the design of the new public space for memory and reflection. It will replace one of the icons associated with drug trafficking and the violence suffered by Medellín in the 80s and 90s: the Monaco building, which will be demolished at the beginning of 2019.
As part of the award, a consultancy contract, and three prizes will be paid for a total of COP $351,480,000. The participation guidelines can be consulted online on SECOP I.
The private secretary of the Mayor of Medellín, Manuel Villa said: “What we want is to overthrow, demolish or dismantle it to build a new symbol which honor the victims. We do not mean to erase the scars. On the contrary, we intend to heal and create other referents of legality and ethics to effectively fight for that transformation of society.”
Among the selection criteria, the participants must consider four components: urban, architectural, environmental and social. In addition, the compilation of 25 categories in which citizens of Medellín expressed their will and wishes -922 proposals in total- about this new scenario of resilience and resignification.
Through this contest, the municipal administration seeks to ensure transparency, a broad participation of architects, and to encourage the contribution of young talents, quality design, and citizen intervention around issues of memory as promoted by the initiative of “Culture of legality.”