Title: Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities
Publisher: Lars Müller
Torre David, a 45-story office tower in Caracas designed by the
distinguished Venezuelan architect Enrique Gómez, was almost complete
when it was abandoned following the death of its developer, David
Brillembourg, in 1993 and the collapse of the Venezuelan economy in
1994. Today, it is the improvised home of a community of more than 750
families, living in an extra-legal and tenuous occupation that some
have called a vertical slum.
Urban-Think Tank spent a year studying the physical and social
organization of this ruin-become home.
Richly illustrated with photographs by Iwan
Baan, the book documents
residents’ occupation of the tower and how, in the absence of formal
infrastructure, they organize themselves to provide for daily needs.
Urban-Think Tank has conceived it as a laboratory for the study of the
informal. In Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities, the
lay out their vision for practical, sustainable interventions in Torre
David and similar informal settlements around the world. They argue
that the future of urban development lies in collaboration among
architects, private enterprise, and the global population of
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