In areas of urban underprivilege and unrest, libraries can improve the quality of life. Based on the urban development model of Chicago, a library park has now sprung up in Medellín, the second-biggest city in Columbia. With its growing textile and mechanical engineering industries, the capital of the Antioquia district in the upper valley of the Porce has developed into an economic centre since the middle of the twentieth century. In contrast the development of the city itself has brought tremendous challenges, with a problematic structure created by internal migration, population growth and the shanty towns which have sprung up.
Five libraries make up the library park and they are all located in socio-political problem areas. The three black blocks of Santo Domingo Savio stand out like a challenging manifestation of culture in a location of hope and uncertainty. The five-storey interior forms an area of brightness, as if it were flooded by the light of the knowledge collected here and by fresh air. The blocks are connected with one another in an organic way.