Culiacan is a city located in the northwest part of Mexico only 80km away from the Pacific Ocean coast and with a population of over a million inhabitants. The city has had a botanical garden for over 30 years that specializes in tropical plants and has over 750 plant varieties. Asides from its plant variety, the garden is designed to allow visitors to enjoy different leisure activities such as sports, open-air picnics or a simple ride around to enjoy the landscape. The Botanical Garden was conceived by its trustee’s president, with the intention of offering Culiacan’s population, a new place to learn and improve their quality of life within a contemporary cultural environment. To achieve this goal he decided to commission a curator and 35 of the most renowned artists to insert pieces of art that can intertwine with the site, the society and the nature. Taller de Operaciones Ambientales (TOA) was commissioned to reinforce and balance their botanical collection and to make one of the most important botanical gardens in the country. Tatiana Bilbao's office was hired to develop a master plan that could integrate landscape and art including services that could allow this new program to become a landmark within Culiacan and its visitors. Therefore we developed a pattern that was taken by tracing the branches of a tree that belongs to the garden. Adapting the design to its surroundings we were able to fulfill a need; a set of buildings such as cultural areas, educational facilities, laboratories, green houses, storage and administrative offices with public services.
Educational Facilities The educational compound in the Botanical Garden in Culiacan is composed by three separate buildings. An educational room for kids and teachers where the kids workshops will be held, a 100-seat auditorium for any kind of screenings and lectures and a service building with the restroom facilities. The complex has three of the 35 pieces of art in the garden, ‘New Ruins’ from Tercerunquinto (2004, Mexican collective), a piece that is made out of the ruins of a building that used to be in the site that was torn down. ‘Nestor O Destatuador (Zé Carioca Nº 13)’ from Rivane Neueschwander (1967, Belo Horizonte, Brasil), an empty comic inside the kids room that can be filled with any story a person would like to create and a 9 screen projecting a life like state ‘Flores Rojas’ from Diana Theater (1962, San Francisco, USA) inside the auditorium room.
This small open air structure in the Botanical Garden was conceived to be the place for 70 people where a 7 minute video tour of the botanical garden will be screened to act as an introduction to the visit. This three wall sided space is only covered by the shadow of the surrounding trees to give fresh open air to its users.
Photographer: Iwan Baan http://www.iwan.com/photo_Botanical_Garden_Culiacan_Tatia_Bilbao.php