Botanical Gardens of Culiacan have been a part of Culiacan for the past thirty years, however due to growth and change, a need arose for the gardens to undergo a major redevelopment. The revitalisation project has been headed up by Tatiana Bilbao and is being undertaken in three stages which started in 2004 and are due to be completed in 2014.
Culiacan city is situated in the northwest of Mexico and is a mere 80km from the Pacific coast. It has a population of one million people. The city has a botanic garden specialising in tropical plant species,the garden has acquired over 750 plant varieties. The design allows visitors to enjoy a variety of different activities, including sports, open-air venues and picnic spots. The botanical gardens were conceived to give the city and its inhabitants a new place to learn and to improve their quality of life within contemporary, cultural environment. In order to achieve their goal, the gardens president of trustee's decided to commission 35 pieces of public art.
As the project is of a large scale, various specialists and designers were bought in, Tatiana Bilbao was appointed to develop the masterplan for the entire site, integrating the artwork with the landscape. A total of 35 artists are producing site specific work for the Botanical Gardens, some of the world renowned people include James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Dan Graham, Tino Sehgal and Pedro Reyes to name a few. Taller de Operaciones Ambientales (TOA) were commissioned manage the collection of plant species, ensuring the gardens reflect the most important botanical collection in the country.
Bilbao's landscape masterplan design was developed around the pattern traced from branches of trees that already belonged to the garden. With some slight adaptations, the final design encompasses a selection of buildings such as cultural spaces, educational facilities, green houses and laboratories along with administrative offices and public services. The educational complex within the gardens is comprised of three separate parts, an educational space for workshops, an auditorium with capacity for 100 people, as well as a service building with amenities.
In addition there is a small open air structure which has capacity for seventy people, it is a space where visitors to the gardens are before touring the gardens to watch an introductory video. The space has only three walls and is covered by shadows cast from the surrounding trees.
Of the 35 commissioned art pieces, there is 'New Ruins' from Tercerunquinto (2004, Mexican collective) is made out of the ruins of a building that used to be in the site that was torn down. 'Nestor O Destatuador (Ze Carioca No 13)' from Rivane Neueschwander (1967, Belo Horizonte, Brasil) is an empty comic inside the kids room that can be filled with any story a person would like to create and 'Flores Rojas' from Diana Theater (1962, San Francisco, USA) is a 9 screen projecting a life like state within the auditorium room.