Text description provided by the architects. Amenidades Urbanas (Urban Amenities) was a Project launched in 2015 by Caracas’ Municipality, together with Misión Saber y Trabajo (Knowledge and Work Social Mission), the organization of Pico Collective, and with the support of the organized community from the area.
An urban rehabilitation project, which started from the new spaces that resulted from the construction of social housing in Caracas’s Bolivar Avenue.
The new areas were defined as recreation public spaces and classified according to a predominating use. Initial designs were chosen through a national competition by a team of experts together with community representatives.
The work presented in this publication corresponds to the sports sector of the project. We tried to give solutions for the most common activities of recreation and workout of Venezuelan citizens, understood more like ludic dynamics that promote communal cohesion and health, rather than competition and professional sports practice.
Indeed, in a lot where small dimensions hardly admitted sportsmanship in a strict sense, it made more sense to offer a group of activities articulated in a flexible way that gave response to the different interests of the neighbors.
The two elements that where systematically used were concrete for surfaces, and steel, for the devices.
The first element builds an artificial topography of delicate steps and slopes that solves the connections between the street and the building, planters, benches and anchors for the steel structures. It proposes as well themes such as the skating ramp, and the ping-pong table, as a sculptural massive piece that may survive the high impact of public use.
The second element is presented as a continuous structural pipe that runs through the place, goes up and down, surrounds a tree, and determines space, orienting the promenades and suggesting uses. Parallel bars, a handrail, a skating rail; there’s a structure that supports a basket, and some swings that hang protected behind a fence so you can slowly swing while watching the city (or the game), without fearing to be hit by the ball.
The multiplicity and flexibility of the solution aims to satisfy all ages. Teenagers and adults who wish to strengthen their physical condition find a place in the open sky gymnasium idea. However, at the same time, the ambiguous definition of limits, builds a playing platform able to receive the always-changing aspiration of kids, who go from one moment to the next, from chasing after a ball to climbing over something, in bustling and endless excitement.