Alfredo Brillembourg Editor   Author profile provided by WorldCat
Hubert Klumpner Editor   Author profile provided by WorldCat
Lars Müller Publishers, Zurich, 2012, English
Nonfiction, Architecture; Nonfiction, Photography; Nonfiction, Urban Design
6.5 x 9.5 inches, paperback, 480 pages, 300 illustrations
ISBN: 9783037782989
Suggested Retail Price: $60.00

From the Publisher. Torre David, a 45-story skyscraper in Caracas, has remained uncompleted since the Venezuelan economy collapsed in 1994. Today, it is the improvised home to more than 750 families living in an extra-legal and tenuous squat, that some have called a “vertical slum.” Urban-Think Tank, the authors of Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities, spent a year studying the physical and social organization of this ruin-become home. Richly illustrated with photographs by Iwan Baan, the book documents the residents’ occupation of the tower and how, in the absence of formal infrastructure, they organize themselves to provide for daily needs, with a hair salon, a gym, grocery shops, and more. The authors of this thought-provoking work investigate informal vertical communities and the architecture that supports them and issue a call for action: to see in informal settlements a potential for innovation and experimentation, with the goal of putting design in service to a more equitable and sustainable future.

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Allison Arieff

This amazing book—part architectural monograph, part urban planning analysis, part screenplay-waiting-to-happen explores in essays, plans, and photographs the incredible story of Torre David, a skyscraper that was abandoned in the wake of the Venezuelan banking crisis—and then transformed in 2007 into a 45-story city that now houses more than 750 families. Within the building are supermarkets, hair salons, churches, playgrounds, and parking lots. Torre David, the authors argue, “with its magnificent deficiencies and remarkable assets, gives us the opportunity to consider how we can create and foster urban communities.”

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