Plaza Jorge Somaca, Barrio Chapellin Caracas

  • Location:
    Chapellin - Caracas
  • Date:
    2018
  • Client:
    Caracas MiConvive and Swiss Embassy in Venezuela
  • Team:
    Enlace Arquitectura and Caracas MiConvive
  • Photography:
    Enlace Arquitectura, C.A
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Chapellín is an informal settlement in the Libertador Municipality of Caracas that has existed for over 80 years. Nestled between the neighborhoods of La Florida and Caracas Country Club, it developed along the creek over the course of years and is a dense and well consolidated community with important neighborhoods associations such as Asociación de Jóvenes Unidos (A.J.U) that supports the participation of children in sports, most notably baseball, producing a long line of baseball players that have played on the international scene including ball player Andrés Galarraga. The non-for-profit Caracas MiConvive has been working with the community through a soup kitchen for children at the Don Bosco school and asked Enlace Arquitectura to join them in the construction of a public space project funded by the Swiss Embassy in Venezuela. Work with the community began in June 2018 with gatherings to understand and decide where they would like to see a public space transformation and determine the types of activities they would like to promote. A focal space along the road was chosen which had a 1-meter level change along its center that made the space inappropriate for ball games, and uncomfortable for larger gatherings and processions. The pavement was in poor conditions and sewage water filtrations under the surface threatened future deterioration. The project removed the pavement, leveled the space to a single height and created a new pavement pattern out of different concrete finishes. Planters were built in corners to bring in some vegetation to the site. Steps and ramps mitigate the level changes and double as benches or bleachers for people as they watch children play.