2022

MCHAP

Community Facilities System - Catia 1100

Aparatos Contingentes

Caracas, Venezuela

January 2019

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Marcos Coronel, Gabriel Visconti, Ricardo Sanz, Rodrigo Marín, Stevenson Piña

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

María Isabel Ramírez, Ana C. Morales, Laura Di Benedetto, Nelifred Maurera, Ruth Mora

CLIENT

National Parks Institute (INPARQUES)

PHOTOGRAPHER

Jose Alberto Bastidas

OBJECTIVE

The intervention articulates a series of operations of public endowments:

1.
Playground _ A Reduced Sport Court holds a playful and recreational sense, detached from the competition and high-performance model that stands out in the conventional city. A court that does not claim standard dimensions, on the contrary, obeys parameters similar to those of its surroundings: irregular morphology, accidental orientation, unconventional dispositions.

2.
Parliament_ Circuit of shared neighborhood terraces and tribune assembly, articulated on the principal matrix of barrio services, hosts the main assembly activities of the community. Not just a community house but a parliament that promotes a more political and democratic character of space. A participatory platform to deliberate and confront public affairs.

3.
Square_ Stabilization operation of the land and patio to the outside of reformed houses in the most far point of the barrio. Take advantage of a stabilization wall built from the permaculture technique, using sacks of sifted sand from the same site.

The proposal embraces the space as a workshop school, seeking the management of ecosystems within the neighborhood, including the protection of the National Park.

CONTEXT

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, popular classes that migrated from the countryside to the city, attracted by the vortex of consumption and access to growing trade, conquered by masses every square meter of unregulated urban land.

Caracas is a 15 km valley with tentacles of small plains. The informal settlements of the city are on hills and mountains. Today more than 50% of the population of Caracas lives in these self-constructed neighborhoods. Many of these informal settlements continue to grow in size, and some of them have found it necessary to occupy "geographically impossible terrain," stream beds, or protected areas.

But, a favela can stop being a threat and become a space that respects and coexists with nature, starting from a relationship of sustainable use with the elements that the territory provides.

The project allows a process of territorial transformation focused on consolidating a set of social facilities, renovating homes, community spaces, and renewal service infrastructure disabled within the barrio.

It begins from the action to contain an illegally populated sector, applying the regulations that regulate the use of natural protected areas to establish the maximum permitted level of construction within the Waraira Repano national park, the principal natural reserve of the city.

The intervention promotes the barrio requalification, guided by the development for a sustainable relationship with the natural ecosystem, productive plans development, occupation protocols, land administration, and social coexistence agreements, based on management that combines local tools with a challenging view of the territory.

PERFORMANCE

Barrios in Caracas have developed from the logic of buildings that braced together, given their tissue structure, different to lot or plot configurations. These buildings share foundations and the whole set of structural systems. Construction focused on generating operations of soil formation, walls stabilization, slopes, and leveling, among technical solutions closer to the function of engineering, where design architecture goes to the background, opening the way to pragmatic decisions.

This intervention process carries out forced works tackled by an extraordinary community cooperative that integrates more than two hundred people, involving machinery maneuvers by previously impassable areas, deep cleaning, weeding, debris boats, and mobilizations of large volumes of freehand materials. A work methodology that handles design and collective management of the processes, always trying to adjust to the needs, demands, and capacities of the barrio.

Barrios from Caracas that opposed the displacement process of its inhabitants is common a practice to control the territory. Disputes transformed these settlements into closed areas, where the presence of outsiders is not usual.

The project manages to extinguish this barrier between the community of the sector and other nearby neighborhoods, who coexist in these spaces through the project, establishing new fraternity relationships among communities. Project is a series of public spaces where architecture is just a support.