Torre David / Grand Horizonte – Caracas Vertical Slum?

Torre Torre David, is an incomplete 45-story office tower in Caracas designed by the distinguished Venezuelan architect Enrique Góme. In 1993 construction was abandoned following the death of developer David Brillembourg, coinciding  with the collapse of the Venezuelan economy in 1994. Today, it is the improvised home of a community of more than 750 families, living in an extra-legal and tenuous occupation that some have called a vertical slum

“To those unaware of its history, the Centro Financiero Confinanzas looks like any other unfinished skyscraper. It is the eighth tallest building in Latin America, 45 stories high and located in the financial district of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Its glass façade glimmers in the sun, a projection of wealth and economic prowess that was intended to house national and international businesses. Inside, however, hides a rather different reality”

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“Urban-Think Tank, spent a year studying the physical and social organization of this ruin-turned-home. Where some only see a failed development project, U-TT has conceived it as a laboratory for the study of the informal. In their “Torre David / Grand Horizonte” exhibit and in their forthcoming book, Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities, the architects lay out their vision for practical, sustainable interventions in Torre David and similar informal settlements around the world. They argue that the future of urban development lies in collaboration among architects, private enterprise, and the global population of slum-dwellers.”

The film is a compelling example of how design has escaped its creator to an unpredictable outcome.  It reveals an untold dialogue on informal settlements and perhaps considered not  a story of dismay yet one of potential for innovation and experimentation, with the goal of putting design in the service of a more equitable and sustainable future.

View Torre David Trailer

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