Torre David – a vertical slum

Roinner Hernández, alias Ronny, ha vent’anni e fa il parrucchiere nella zona sud-est di Caracas, in un salone di bellezza prestigioso. Vive in un appartamento al quarto piano, dove riceve i suoiclienti privati. Lo specchio è una lastra di vetro proveniente dalla facciata della torre.

I came across some articles about a tower in Venezuela – Torre David – a high rise project that was never completed. Originally designed as a symbol of economic growth and entrepreneurial mettle in Venezuela, the 45 storey office tower now stands as a symbol of something else entirely, now inhabited by more than 750 of the poorest families in the city of Caracas.

Torre Confinanzas.

It was in 1993 that the developer of the scheme, David Brillembourg, died, and a year later the Venezuelan economy collapsed. This led to a full stop in the building process, and the tower was left uncompleted. Gradually the homeless of Caracas started to occupy the sky scraper, and contains today a small community – on one floor there is a barber, on another there is a shop and so on – families live here in their own flats and the inhabitants regularly carry out maintenance  work of the building to keep it “safe”.

There is a really good, short video of a study on Torre-David carried out by a design team called Urban think-tank, click HERE to watch.

Sinistra: I vuoti per il passaggio dell’ascensore nell’area destinata a parcheggio. In basso, s’intravvede l’asilo nido del quartiere Sarría;in alto, una vista dell’ala evangelica della torre. Destra: Le scale che portano al parcheggio del grattacielo. Nonostante manchino di corrimano, vengono regolarmente utilizzate dagli abitanti della torre.

La signora María e famiglia abitano al sesto piano. In questo appartamento vende anche chucherías (dolcini fatti in casa).


Pictures from and



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