Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities / Urban-Think Tank & Iwan Baan

Torre David, a 45-story skyscraper in Caracas, has remained uncompleted since the Venezuelan economy collapsed in 1994. Today, it is the improvised home to more than 750 families living in an extra-legal and tenuous squat, that some have called a “vertical slum.”

Urban-Think Tank, the authors of Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities, spent a year studying the physical and social organization of this ruin-become home. Richly illustrated with photographs by , the book documents the residents’ occupation of the tower and how, in the absence of formal infrastructure, they organize themselves to provide for daily needs, with a hair salon, a gym, grocery shops, and more.

The authors of this thought-provoking work investigate informal vertical communities and the architecture that supports them and issue a call for action: to see in informal settlements a potential for innovation and experimentation, with the goal of putting design in service to a more equitable and sustainable future.

026 Preface / Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner
029 Introduction / Andres Lepik
052 Torre: A Graphic Novella / André  Kitagawa with Urban-Think Tank
070 I: Past / Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner
130 II: Present / Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner
334 III: Possibility / Arno Schlueter, Jimeno A. Fonseca, Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner
360 IV: Potential / Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner
360 Afterword / Christian Schmid
389 Appendix

Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers
Dimensions: 16.5 x 24 cm, 6 ½ × 9½ in (Hardcover)
Pages: 416 pages (406 illustrations)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-3-03778-307-8

Cite: Hernandez, Diego. "Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities / Urban-Think Tank & Iwan Baan" 29 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>