In a city of the importance and scale of Caracas, offering ample and accessible recreational spaces for the enjoyment of its citizens becomes a social necessity. Protecting green areas for the ecological benefit of the city is also fundamental. The transformation of “La Carlota” airport into an urban park offers a unique and critical opportunity to value, protect and ensure a better social and ecological future for the people of the city.
The proposal is concentrated on three main gestures. The first is to understand the city as a interconnected network of public spaces, recreational areas and green corridors that clarify the city´s legibility and guarantee better pedestrian movement. The second is the concentration of social and programmatic activities into public nodes understood as a “System of Cultural Parks”, where “La Carlota” represents a catalyst toward its conceptualization and implementation. Lastly, attention is paid to the physical organization of “La Carlota’s” 405 acres which evolves through a process of determined phases. The organization of the park is composed of three “layers” that also reveal the history of the site. A line of indigenous trees delineate the topography of the site (the natural state), the runway is transformed into a boulevard (the present condition), and programmatic “cells” become the new addition and layer of the site (the green future).
The takeoff runway is the park´s main structuring device that progressively transforms itself into an element full of life. Lined with Venezuela’s national tree the “Araguaney”, which turns bright yellow in the spring, it becomes a spectacle that can be observed from various points in the Caracas valley. In addition, multiple ravines descend from the surrounding hills and traverse the site diagonally so that they may be used to collect stormwater drainage and create new lakes and wetlands within the park. Cut and fill is implemented so that excavated material is turned into recreational hills and activity cells with varying programmatic identities. A hill becomes a place for kite flying, a wooded area becomes a “bring your own hammock” section, and a hot air balloon offers the city dwellers the opportunity to “take off” just as the airplanes once did.
Many of the existing hangars and buildings are recycled and converted into cultural and educational centers. New bridges over the Fajardo highway north of the site connect the new park with Roberto Burle Marx’s “Parque del Este” and other neighborhoods south and east of the park are connected by means of pedestrian bridges and new access points. Furthermore, two north-south traffic corridors are introduced traversing the park without interrupting the spatial continuity of the surface while significantly improving vehicular and public transportation mobility in the city.
Pista Viva | Caracas Venezuela | Enlace Arquitectura
Pista Viva (Alive Runway) – Revealing the landscape of the “Carlota”
Out of 104 teams, 69 submissions were entered and three teams received winning prices.
Enlace Arquitectura were chosen as one of the winning teams.
Project Team |
Elisa Silva, Ines Casanova, Leonardo Robleto Costante, Sergio dos Santos, Katherine Aguilar, Valentina Caradonna