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2014 MCHAP.emerge

Bolivar Civic Center

Arq. Marcelo Gualano/Arq. Martin Gualano

Pueblo Bolivar, Uruguay

December 2007


Gualano + Gualano : arquitectos


Gualano + Gualano : arquitectos (Architects)


Fundación Pueblo Bolívar-Embajada de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela


Elías Martínez


The most important factors for the building´s design were its layout and location. The result is a simple, austere building that is easily manageable. The project is defined by two concrete slabs that form the floor and roof. These elements establish the "between" space where the building layouts is developed. It is defined by walls made of brick which is visible from the outside and painted white on the inside, clearly distinguishing interior from exterior. The design uses very rational geometry in which the layout defines different spaces, forming four entities separated by passageways. The building is perforated, softened and dissolves into the space, making it more permeable and encouraging the entry of people, views and contacts. The gallery connects the various parts of the structure, which looks out onto the soccer field and now improves it by providing new facilities. The building is a public space that seeks to serve as a civic place, a small Roman forum, a place for coming together.


Pueblo Bolívar is a town of just 100 people located in the middle of nowhere that was very lucky to have this name. During one of his visits to Uruguay, then President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez heard about it and decided to support it. The result is this civic center, the new center of town and a meeting place that houses a multipurpose room, public bathrooms, a clinic, locker rooms, and a playground. It is situated in a quiet landscape at a high point within the town that offers distant views. A soccer field predated the structure. The town is inhabited by humble people, half adults and half children, all with very limited resources. As such, there is limited capacity for maintaining the structure and significant dependence on local government.


One important premise was thus durability and low maintenance. The result is a simple, austere building that is easily manageable. The windows were made out of lapacho, a hard and durable wood, and the bars, which are not intended to provide security but to protect the glass, are made of wood as well. Pieces like eyes crab´s provide lightness to the spaces.

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