The mounted police in Medellin, Colombia have a sweet and sustainable fort from which to base their operations. Built by the city's urban development corporation, EDU Medellin, Carabineros Fort provides space for 70 policemen, 50 horses and 10 dogs. The organization has a strong commitment to the environment and their facility makes use of solar energy, a bio digester to process waste, and it collects rainwater. Located in a lush forest preserve, Carabineros Fort is a project aimed at providing more public space and further protecting the environment.
Completed in 2011, Carabineros Fort is strategically located in the Medellin’s environmental park, Arvi. Developed by EDU Medellin, the project is key to the development of this area as a future public space for the city. The fort will provide security and will make it possible to further relationships among the community, the state and the environment. Architecture for the project was initially led by Gustavo Adolfo Restrepo Lalinde and then Juan Mejia Saldarriaga. The 2,535-square-meter (27,286-square-foot) project is made up of nine buildings with public, semi-public and private spaces that act as a border and create an open interior space for training activities for 50 horses and 10 dogs. Buildings are clad with a recycled metal shell that protects them and creates a strong impression.
The facility was conceived as a living project that works to minimize its impact on the surrounding forest and utilize natural resources efficiently. Building orientation and design makes the most of solar passive design and natural ventilation. Photovoltaics generate electricity while solar thermal panels generate hot water for use in the kitchen and showers. No sewage system is available so, wastewater is processed on site through a wetland and solid waste, especially from the horses is processed with a bio digester that creates methane for use in the kitchen. Rainwater is harvested off the roof and used for irrigation and in toilets and potable water is brought to the site and used conscientiously. Recycled and durable materials were used throughout the project.
Images ©EDU Medellin