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Caracas: The Latest Architecture and News

Urban Amenities / Sports Lot / Ricardo Sanz Sosa & Rodrigo Marín Briceño

16:00 - 27 November, 2018
Urban Amenities / Sports Lot / Ricardo Sanz Sosa & Rodrigo Marín Briceño, © José Alberto Bastidas
© José Alberto Bastidas

© José Alberto Bastidas © José Alberto Bastidas © José Alberto Bastidas © José Alberto Bastidas + 23

  • Architects

  • Location

    Caracas, Republic of Venezuela
  • Category

  • Masterplan and Project Execution

    Camilo González & Verónica Rodríguez
  • Technical Management

    Pico Estudio
  • Collaborators

    Jávier Cáceres, Sergio Fernández, Anastasia Carvallo, Concejo Comunal Omar Torrijos
  • Promoters

    Alcaldía de Caracas, Gran Misión Saber y Trabajo
  • Photography

    José Alberto Bastidas, Ricardo Sanz, Mariluz Volcán

Last Floors of the Infamous Torre de David Have Tilted Following an Earthquake

16:00 - 27 August, 2018
Last Floors of the Infamous Torre de David Have Tilted Following an Earthquake, © <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:EneasMx&amp;action=edit&amp;redlink=1">EneasMx</a>, bajo licencia <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>. ImageCentro Financiero Confinanzas, conocido también como Torre de David, en 2017
© EneasMx, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 4.0. ImageCentro Financiero Confinanzas, conocido también como Torre de David, en 2017

The last five stories of the Torre de David in Caracas have tilted 25 degrees following the largest earthquake to hit Venezuela in 100 years. The well-known building gained infamy as an unprecedented vertical "slum" when its construction was abandoned and squatters began to inhabit the unfinished structure.

The 190-meter skyscraper with 45 stories became Latin America's 8th tallest tower in the 1990s, but it was never completed. Officially known as the Centro Financiero Confinanzas when construction began in 1990, the project succumbed to Venezuela's 1994 banking crisis.   

Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises?

06:00 - 19 June, 2018
Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises?

The downtown skyline of a city is perhaps its most symbolic feature. The iconic cityscapes that we know and love are typically formed by skyscrapers, but much of the surrounding context is made up of other high-rise buildings. Yes, there is a difference between a skyscraper and a high-rise. Research company Emporis defines a high-rise as a building at least 35 meters (115 feet) or 12 stories tall. These high-rise buildings play a major role in the more sprawled urban context of larger cities today.

Read on for Emporis' list of the 20 cities in the world with the most high-rises. You might be surprised by which cities made the cut.

Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises? © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sajeewashaluka'>Wikimedia user Sajeewashaluka </a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/22240293@N05'>Flickr user Francisco Diaz</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/people/88503995@N02'>Flickr user Younguk Kim</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 27

Documentary On Torre David, Once The World's Tallest Slum, Released Online

15:00 - 28 October, 2015

In 1994, after the death of its main investor and a national banking crisis that left Venezuela's economy stagnated, the construction of Caracas' Centro Financiero Confinanzas - known popularly as the Tower of David - was paralyzed, leaving the building completely abandoned and on 70 percent complete.

Neglected for more than a decade, the 45-story, 190-meter-tall skyscraper became the makeshift home for a community of more than 800 families, becoming the world's tallest "vertically organized favela," with basic services to the 22nd floor and including even barber shops, kindergartens and dentists.

The documentary Torre David (now available to watch in full for a small fee of $3) was filmed by Urban-Think Tank, presenting the particular life of its residents before the tower was evacuated in 2014. The film is part of a larger research project that has led to new a book and numerous exhibitions, including the exhibition winner of the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale.

Click here to watch the full documentary.

Espacios de Paz 2015: 5 Cities, 5 Communities, 20 Architecture Collectives

08:30 - 10 June, 2015
Espacios de Paz 2015: 5 Cities, 5 Communities, 20 Architecture Collectives, La Guaira / Valle del Pino. Image © José Tomás Franco
La Guaira / Valle del Pino. Image © José Tomás Franco

Between Sunday, May 17 and Monday, May 18 projects developed under the second phase of Espacios de Paz (Spaces of Peace) were inaugurated in five cities across Venezuela. A genuine exercise in participative design, 20 Latin American architecture groups worked for five weeks with communities in neighborhoods dominated by violence, high dropout rates and crime to convert deteriorated and abandoned spaces into public places of peace.

For each project, four groups of young architects worked together to carry out a process of dialogue, research, design, and ultimately the construction of either an athletic, social or educational facility to be administrated by the local community. Espacios de Paz is coordinated by the local office of PICO Estudio, with guidance from public institutions and under the leadership of Isis Ochoa, the High Presidential Commissioner for Peace and Life.

ArchDaily en Español Editors, Nicolás Valencia M. and José Tomás Franco, were invited by PICO Estudio to document and view the five projects in their final phase of construction and speak with the architects and community representatives about the development of the projects and some of the challenges faced in the process.

Learn more about each of the five projects after the break. 

Frank Gehry Presents Design for Venezuelan Music Center

00:00 - 31 December, 2014
Frank Gehry Presents Design for Venezuelan Music Center,  Frank Gehry presents the National Center for Social Action Through Music project
Frank Gehry presents the National Center for Social Action Through Music project

With Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in attendance, Frank Gehry presented the model for the future National Center for Social Action Through Music building in Lara state. The project is Gehry’s second in Latin America, following the recently inaugurated Biomuseo in Panamá.

To be located in Barquisimeto, Venezuela’s fourth most populated city, the National Center for Social Action Through Music forms part of the National Network of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, more commonly known as “El Sistema.” Founded in 1975 by orchestra director José Antonio Abreu, El Sistema is now funded by the government and provides musical training and education for children from impoverished backgrounds. The Adjkm-designed Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action is also part of El Sistema.

Learn more about the project after the break. 

adjkm's Releases Final Design for Caracas Symphony

01:00 - 27 September, 2014
adjkm's Releases Final Design for Caracas Symphony, CASMSB - View from Boulevard. Image Courtesy of adjkm
CASMSB - View from Boulevard. Image Courtesy of adjkm

In 2011, adjkm won an international competition to design the Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action through Music (CASMSB - Complejo de Acción Social por la Música Simón Bolívar) in Caracas. Now, almost four years later, the Venezuelan practice has released their updated design for the “Caracas Symphony” in preparation for its groundbreaking at the end of this year.

The building is being constructed for the El Sistema project, an internationally distinguished program based on the premise that musical training can create great musicians and completely alter the expected life paths of children born into extremely impoverished circumstance.

Venezuela Begins Relocation of Thousands Living in Torre de David, the World’s Tallest Slum

00:00 - 22 July, 2014
Venezuela Begins Relocation of Thousands Living in Torre de David, the World’s Tallest Slum, Interior de la Torre David. Image © Vía 'The Atlantic'
Interior de la Torre David. Image © Vía 'The Atlantic'

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.

Thousands of Inhabitants May Be Relocated As Chinese Bankers Eye Venezuela's Torre David

00:00 - 17 July, 2014
Thousands of Inhabitants May Be Relocated As Chinese Bankers Eye Venezuela's Torre David, © Vía 'The Atlantic'
© Vía 'The Atlantic'

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.

© Vía 'The Atlantic' © Vía 'The Atlantic' © Vía 'The Atlantic' © Vía 'The Atlantic' + 4

Proyecto Helicoide: Reviving Venezuela's Unfinished Modernist Utopia

01:00 - 14 July, 2014
Proyecto Helicoide: Reviving Venezuela's Unfinished Modernist Utopia, © Proyecto Helicoide
© Proyecto Helicoide

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.

Rogers Stirk Harbour Unveils Design for Venezuela's National Football Stadium

01:00 - 30 January, 2014
Rogers Stirk Harbour Unveils Design for Venezuela's National Football Stadium, © RSHP
© RSHP

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.

Richard Rogers to Design Two New Stadiums for Hugo Chávez Park

00:00 - 24 January, 2014
Richard Rogers to Design Two New Stadiums for Hugo Chávez Park, The proposed football stadium. Image Courtesy of the municipality of Caracas
The proposed football stadium. Image Courtesy of the municipality of Caracas

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. 

Metro Cable Caracas / Urban-Think Tank

01:00 - 23 September, 2013
Metro Cable Caracas / Urban-Think Tank, ©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan Rendering + 22

  • Architects

  • Location

    metro cable mariche, Carr Petare - Sta Lucía, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Category

  • 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
  • Photography

    Iwan Baan

Inside the World's Tallest Slum: Venezuela's Tower of David

00:00 - 24 August, 2013

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.

Casa MS / ODA-Oficina de Arquitectura

01:00 - 2 May, 2013
© Tomas Opitz
© Tomas Opitz

© Tomas Opitz © Tomas Opitz © Tomas Opitz © Tomas Opitz + 25

La Carlota Park Competition Proposal / Glocalstudio (Kunckel Associates + Stefan Gzyl)

11:00 - 20 September, 2012
Courtesy of Glocalstudio (Kunckel Associates + Stefan Gzyl)
Courtesy of Glocalstudio (Kunckel Associates + Stefan Gzyl)

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.

Italian-Venezuelan Centre New Services Building / Roberto Puchetti

00:00 - 16 May, 2012
Italian-Venezuelan Centre New Services Building / Roberto Puchetti, © Roberto Puchetti
© Roberto Puchetti

© Roberto Puchetti © Roberto Puchetti © Roberto Puchetti © Roberto Puchetti + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Caracas, Venezuela
  • Category

  • Project Team

    Yesenia Di Sabatino, Fernando Blanco, Andrés Cova, Karina Rodriguez
  • Engineering

    Manuel Ramírez, Roberto De Adessis, Ricardo Ortega
  • Client

    Centro Italiano Venezolano, A.C.
  • Construction

    Constructora Proyectos La Torre, C.A.
  • Area

    465.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

Production Laboratories and Administrative buildings / Roberto Puchetti, Max Rengifo

00:00 - 27 August, 2009
Production Laboratories and Administrative buildings / Roberto Puchetti, Max Rengifo

Production Laboratories and Administrative buildings / Roberto Puchetti, Max Rengifo Production Laboratories and Administrative buildings / Roberto Puchetti, Max Rengifo Production Laboratories and Administrative buildings / Roberto Puchetti, Max Rengifo Production Laboratories and Administrative buildings / Roberto Puchetti, Max Rengifo + 26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Caracas, Venezuela
  • Category

  • Project Manager

    TEXNE Consultores de Arquitectura, S.A.
  • Civils And Structure Engineer

    Ing. Manuel Ramírez
  • Electrics And Data Engineer

    Ing. Roberto De Adessis
  • Mecahnical Engineer

    Ing. Víctor Salazar Amana
  • Quantity Surveyour (Covenin)

    Ing. Carlos Otamendi
  • Technical Consultants (Laboratorios)

    Instituto Butantãn, São Paolo, Brasil
  • Client

    Instituto Nacional de Higiene “Rafael Rangel”
  • Area

    13000.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2007