Oasis

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The metropolitan big size pieces

The transformation of large areas of land in metropolitan core areas managed by a single action such as military facilities, port areas, and industrial or railway sites is a great opportunity to make changes that affect the entire city. In this sense, the new La Carlota’s Park presents one of these occasions and means the provision on over 100ha to the city public spaces network. The proposal seeks a strategic debate on how to make city detecting where the project is truly required.

Caracas is a territorial mosaic where La Carlota’s recycling should build a new place, an OASIS in the urban fabric. The contemporary metropolis is often expressed as a desert or a territory without references and exhausting. The aim is to turn La Carlota into an oasis where nature, activities intensity, cultural diversity and social cohesion are integrated.

Interior perimeters, strategic reflection

The proposal does not provide a formal solution because we understand that the problem and the same time the opportunity of the 110ha of almost empty land is to break its isolation. Both the presence of large high-capacity infrastructure and the hard urbanization of Guaire’s river, the surrounding tissues, the East Park and the shopping malls are poorly interrelated.

Then, we propose to think about the different park limits, in the interior city perimeters. It is in this friction space among different pieces where the encounter place between city and the interior gap of the airport area is. Here is the point of the project interest. Only designing its filling may result an exercise of formal satisfaction.

At least, there are 5 types of recognized edges related to 5 actions of intervention:

_To generate front

_To link

_To connect

_To open

_To give continuity

The image of the new park is constructed by getting better accessibility through these transition spaces. This strategic reflection allows us to think about a flexible design in time. It will be possible to change the formal solutions without losing the main aim of the project.

  

Structure and not just “design”

How it is the project organized?

Through 5 “keys” that means 5 areas that respond to different types of limits facing La Carlota’s Park. They are like keys that lead to the great treasure: a central forest in the core’s area.

The Campus of activities: vegetable pergolas link the shopping malls. This area is conceived as a geometrical space organized in paths, squares an permeable pavilions.

  1. Floresta’s Promenade: A new urban front for Floresta’s neighbourhood which means to rethink the Francisco Fajardo’s highway urbanity. A new place with modern buildings for economic activities.
  2. Burlemarx’s garden. A nes link with the East Park through a perforated platform that resolves the different levels as the same time it offers a urban gardening space where people can cultivate local plants and flowers.
  3. Chuao-Santa Cecilia’s glade: This is a great area for new big Caracas events. Good accessibility as well as transversal connectivity enables to reservate spaces for stadiums, outdoor concerts, circuses, etc.
  4. Guaire’s beach: It is considered the recovery of the river as a place to integrate water as playful. So, a new urban place to encounter, to contemplate, to play with fountains, to walk under spray pergolas.

 

One treasure

The great forest is a new treasure for the city. The diversity of vegetation colonizes the interior becoming the cohesion element as well as characterized different places. In this sense, the proposal does not impose a finalist drawing but suggests the idea of “modeling” a great wooded area. The new forest mass must be treated as a ductile element that deforms according to the needs of the city to link, organize and restructure it.

The grid

Although the proposal is open to incorporate other species, the use of native is species is rather considerate. Not only because of its greater resistance to weather conditions but also because the park must have a self-image defined by elements of the country’s natural heritage. The use of the color and type can be a mechanism of project combining mangos, acacias, ceibas with araguaneys, palms and fruit trees.

 

Mainstreaming 

The third level of the park structure comes from understanding the relationship section. 2,5 Km length are a great advantage but also a critical point for the connectivity of the city. We think it is possible to introduce a transversal subdivision rule to incorporate at least 2 vehicle ways through the park. The first one continues the Av. Del Avila (El Dorado’s area) and the second one as an extension of the East Park south limit road. Both are intersected with Av. Rio de Janeiro. To reduce the impact image on the park, the model is flexible and the roads work as pairs.

 

The tours

The fourth level of structure consists in rethinking the Burlemarx “caminerias” (park walkways). The aim is to search for the diversity of walkways and paths, different types of mobility (bicycle, pedestrians, jogging, etc) as well as direct routes, perimetral paths, different rhythms, walks in the shade, etc. The roads become a sensorial experience. The diagonality of the tours play a counterpoint to the forest grid.

In contrast, the airplane track is the backbone spina. It is a great empty space framed by the forest context. The track becomes a memorial track of the airport site and serves as a flexible space to accommodate mass activities.

 

Title: Oasis

Project Name: A new metropolitan park

Location: Caracas, Venezuela

Date: july 2012

Category: Urban transformation of La Carlota’s airport, Caracas.

Surface: 103 Ha

Organizer: Metropolitan Caracas sector major

Team: Alvaro Cuéllar, Anna Gutiérrez

Collaborators:

Architects: Sabrina Bentata

Students: Miquel Camacho