Following yesterday’s news story about the forced eviction of the thousands of inhabitants living in Venezuela’s Torre de David (Tower of David), the world’s tallest vertical slum, Urban-Think Tank has issued a statement. The group, which spent two years researching the remarkable urban space for their Golden Lion-winning Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012, has spoken with residents and hopes to provoke the architectural/design communities by adding their voice to the debate. Read the full statement, after the break.
Monday night began the relocation process of thousands of inhabitants living in Venezuela’s Torre de David (Tower of David), the world’s tallest slum, according to reports by Venezuelan newspaper Últimas Noticias, BBC Mundo and tweets from journalists following the coverage. The relocation initiative is being carried out by the Interior and Justice Ministry, and comes just five days after the announcement that the Venezuelan government is in negotiations with Chinese banks interested in purchasing the building.
Torre de David (the Tower of David) - the world’s tallest slum and the subject of Urban-Think Tank, Justin McGuirk, and Iwan Baan‘s Golden Lion-winning Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012 - is once again making headlines. Venezuelan newspaper TalCual reports that the Venezuelan government is in negotiations with Chinese banks interested in purchasing the building.
Tower of David is an unfinished financial skyscraper in downtown Caracas. Construction began on the tower in 1990, but the death of the principal investor in 1993 and the subsequent banking crisis that hit the country in 1994 froze construction; by the end of the year, the tower was in the hands of the state. Nevertheless, in 2007 two thousand homeless citizens took over and inhabited the skyscraper, making it the tallest vertical slum in the world.
Although construction was never completed, “El Helicoide” (“The Helix”) in Caracas is one of the most important relics of the Modern movement in Venezuela. The 73,000 square meter project – designed in 1955 by Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, Peter Neuberger and Dirk Bornhorst – takes the form of a double spiral topped by a large geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. It was characterized by a series of ascending and descending ramps meant to carry visitors to its variety of programmatic spaces - including 320 shops, a 5 star hotel, offices, a playground, a television studio and a space for events and conventions.
Today, Proyecto Helicoide (Project Helix) seeks to rescue the urban history and memory of the building through a series of exhibitions, publications and educational activities. More details on the initiative, after the break.
Architects: Rueda & Vera Arquitectos
Location: Calle 8, Guayana City, Venezuela
Architect In Charge: Henry Rueda, Henrique Vera Project Director: Arq. Henry Rueda
Design Team: Gabriella Titone, Natercia Fernandes, Roberto García, Mariana Yanes, Mariana Fernández, Gabriela Hernández, Raúl Cabrera, Rockman Vargas
Area: 596 sqm
Photographs: Antonio Chagín | ACH Imagen Digital
Following our recent news that confirmed Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) will oversee the design and construction of two new stadiums within Caracas’ Hugo Chavez Park, details have emerged regarding the Estadio Nacional de Fútbol de Venezuela. Designed by RSHP, in collaboration with Arup and Schlaich Bergermann und Partners, the project will be the practice’s first ever football stadium.
On January 17th, the mayor of Caracas, Jorge Rodriguez, and British architect Richard Rogers signed a contract that confirms Rogers will oversee the design and construction of two new stadiums within ”Hugo Chavez” Park. Both stadiums should be completed by 2015.
The 200-hectare ”Hugo Chavez” Park will be located around the race course La Rinconada and the Museum Alejandro Otero (MAO). The project, which began in April 2013, includes the construction of a football stadium with capacity for 50,000 people and a baseball stadium with capacity for 45,000, plus a multipurpose gym and the new headquarters of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.
Architects: Urban-Think Tank
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Design Team: Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner
Project Team: José Antonio Nuñez, Carlos Bastidas, Alfredo Brillembourg, Patrick Edlinger, Elizabeth Florian, Cesar Gavidia, Dora Kelle, Hubert Klumpner, Rafael Machado, Claudia Ochoa, Regina Orvañanos, Juan Ponce, Matt Tarczynski
Photographs: Iwan Baan
What was once a symbol of Caracas’ bright financial future is now the world’s tallest slum: Venezuela’s Tower of David. Squatters took over this unfinished 45-story skyscraper in the early 1990s, after its construction was stopped due to a banking crisis and the sudden death of the tower’s namesake, David Brillembourg.
Now, as the government is grappling with a citywide housing shortage, many residents have spent most of their life within the walls of David. And despite the tower’s reputation as being a hotbed of crime, residents have managed to build a self-sustaining community complete with a communal electrical grid and aqueduct water system.
Few cameras have been allowed into the depths of the tower, so watch as Vocativ captures a rare in-depth access to residents’ daily lives.
The architecture firms of Kunckel Associates and Stefan Gzyl joined forces under the Glocalstudio platform to develop their entry to the recently completed ideas competition for La Carlota park in Caracas, Venezuela. They propose that the new park is an opportunity for a lot more than supplying a quantifiable amount of park space: they understand it as an opportunity for the (re)foundation of the city. The park will become the city’s new vital nucleus, a space from which to (re)conquest and (re)claim a preexisting and often hostile territory. In a city in which nature is in constant decline and hardly available as public space, the 100 hectare military airfield site constitutes a unique chance for a metropolitan-scale park in the very heart of the city. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Venezuela’s participation at the 13th Venice Biennale is presented through a series of reflections about the urban situation – the city of the 21st century.
La ciudad socializante vs la ciudad alienante is aimed for the general audience, not just the architects, presenting a series of graphic-chromatic notes and sketches by Domenico Silvestro, who was very kind and showed us the pavilion. You can see him on the photos below.
Architects: Roberto Puchetti
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Project Team: Yesenia Di Sabatino, Fernando Blanco, Andrés Cova, Karina Rodriguez
Engineering: Manuel Ramírez, Roberto De Adessis, Ricardo Ortega
Built Area: 465 sqm
Client: Centro Italiano Venezolano, A.C.
Construction: Constructora Proyectos La Torre, C.A.
Photographs: Roberto Puchetti
In the public competition for the preliminary design of the Simon Bolivar International Complex for Social Action through Music and its surrounding urban area, ADJKM shared with us their first prize proposal which is scheduled to be construction this year and finished by 2016 in Caracas, Venezuela. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Construction has already began on the Venezuela Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo site. The 3,000-square-meter Venezuela Pavilion will look like a figure 8 – a symbolic number in both China and Venezuela – and depict many traditional aspects of the country’s history and culture with the theme “A Better Life, Better City.”
The Yanomami tribe that has thrived in the rainforests of South America for thousands of years will perform in the pavilion. Another highlight of the pavilion will be a Venezuelan children’s orchestra, which will perform in a 286-seat theater on July 5, Venezuela’s National Day, said Temir Ponceleon, the country’s commissioner general of the Expo.
The pavilion will be in the geometric shape of a “Mobius strip,” or an inverted cylinder. The exhibition area will feature two-way audiovisual transmissions via satellite between Shanghai and Venezuela. More images and a video after the break.