SPORT AND CULTURAL PLATFORMS
This Project takes part on a series of interventions of cooperative urban reengineering, focalized on consolidating a network of sport, cultural spaces as new productive and formative urban models for the informal growth areas of Caracas. It’s an alternative on hybrid public spaces in geomorphological complex slums based on microsurgery operations upon the organic and spontaneous tissue of industrial slums.
The building is a Spatial apparatus that explore temporarily conditions and cultural occupation creating tactical regenerations and mobility strategies. This urban device is coupled to the main mobility systems of the favela, building relationships along the dimension of the stair in four operative strata, and providing, in the aerial space, opportunities for the deployment of diverse programs for the physical, and organizational rehabilitation of self-constructed areas of the city. This Project takes part on a series of interventions of cooperative urban reengineering, focalized on consolidating a network of sport, cultural spaces as new productive and formative urban models for the informal growth areas of Caracas.
Located in the Libertador Parish, with approximately 400,000 inhabitants, within the urbanization of Caracas, the Lomas de Urdaneta favela constitutes a belt which has been marginalized for over 50 years. This informal development in the west of the valley is a complex topographical zone in which its inhabitants have managed to achieve important improvements in terms of accessibility, service infrastructure and social infrastructure. Our approach tried to reconcile and balance the forces of a polarised society and a disenfranchised community, by developing strategies within the public realm to regenerate degraded common ground and empower citizens to construct a fresh, independent and alternative type of culture and sports civic infrastructure and place-making interventions.
The building plugs into the interstitial space retained by the community for more than 30 years, hoping to build a sports centre. The existing stair was transformed through comprehensive territorial reengineering. The main pedestrian connection is also a water drain and mains services route. The lower level is conceived as a cultural space with grandstands for public events, while the upper level becomes the sports complex. The building became the new visual identity of the community transforming the favela with an unexpected aesthetic language. The concrete walls allowed to plug in a prefabricated system of metal frames assembled together with a perforated metal skin-sheets.
The project investigates the before and the after of the building, operating over the processes that precede construction phases and the consciousness of what could produce. In that sense aiming to build less and achieve more.
The construction process itself is conceived as an territorial incremental occupation, creating a multi-level social landscape. It focuses on reviving latent natures and returning them to their original conditions. The proposal upgrades and repairs existing infrastructures and goes beyond, triggers new relations between humans, materials and natural topographies.
The Strategy was base on two fronts:
The first consisted of the engineering of the soil, installing structural elements of ground stabilization, reinforcing the main stair and taking advantage of natural resources by collecting and treating water and waste.
The second developed a strategic maneuver by engineering inserting a crane at the construction site deployed a series of pre-framed elements in order to facilitate the processes of assembling in situ. The prefabricated frames translate the possibilities of the local industry into the community implementing new building components.
Permeable skins used the possibilities of the local industry:
The porosity on the enclosure produced a particular translucency allowing to get the Favelas color pallet. Members of the community installed these fast-assembly galvanized sheets and then a layer of metal mesh. The modular sheets were drilled with die-cut-ting machines from the 1950s, still operating today
in local factories. The building, therefore, proposes its own hybrid fabrication system, which fuses locally available expertises and technology with industrial modern techniques, traditions, and heritage. A fusion of available industrial materials with design protocols, analog machines, and physical labor, transforms the building in an open classroom, also implementing learning methods on-site constructions. The act of building, the art, the craft, and the science also used as a tool of engagement, knowledge transfer and urban regeneration.
In this context densified by layers and layers of programmed obsolescence and residual textures of the industry, community groups manage a stratified sequence of cultural programs and multi-purpose spaces with the paradoxical environmental and atmospheric dimension of a mango tree. The building creates a micro-environment controlled by forms of collectivity and by the force of the presence of nature in an almost complete artificialized context.
The building operates as a community empowerment machine, promoting models of microeconomics, that are later used to activate a second phase of the integral regeneration of the favela. A programmatic stratification and a constructive logic form, over the territory, that accomplish to find in the aerial space, opportunities for the deployment of public programs, through active citizenship.
This strategy has now managed to overhaul, repair and refurbish more than 400 homes using local construction worker to run a regenerative infrastructure community plan. The program promoted a social sustainability network system between neighbors in a continuous balance of the forces of this organic and complex grid pattern.
El jurado de esta categoría estuvo conformado por los arquitectos Alvaro Puntoni (Brasil), Luis Aldrete (México), Gloria Cabral (Paraguay), María Luisa Borja (Ecuador) e Igor Muñoz (Ecuador),
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