Location: Valle de Cinti, Camargo, Bolivia
Work Team: Students from Workshop – TSL 2015
Tutors: Javier Maradiaga, Lara Plácido
Junior Tutors: Karime Acho, Maria Eugenia Martínez, Martin Aramayo, Mauricio Mendez
Protocols: Christian Albarado, Katherine Torrico, Maria Fernanda Quezada, Natalia Serrano
Photography:Bruno Brassea, Javier Maradiaga, Lara Plácido, Sara Dillon
Organizers: CLEA; CLEA Bolivia (Fabio Bayro Kaiser); Universidade Católica Boliviana San Pablo
Sponsors: FAUTAPO, Hostal Cruz Huasa
The XII Latin American Social Architecture Student Workshop, Bolivia 2015, brings together students and architects of different nationalities that seek to generate social intervention in the Valley of Cinti in Camargo. The purpose of this workshop is to foster authentic construction and maintain local identity.
The intervention focused on the area known by the locals as “EL TOBOGAN” (The Slide) located in the southwest of the city and it was implemented with the aim of being a pedestrian area of transition between the city and the cemetery. This space accumulates two functions: it is both a slide addressed to children as a play area and a tour that alternates assets and liabilities organized by levels to overcome the height difference that separates the city from the cemetery.
The first visit to this place showed an amorphous space that was not integrated by the people of Camargo into their daily life. People did not use this space because it was neglected, it had no vegetation and it offered no comfort to be a living place or a viewpoint. Besides, it was extremely exposed to the sun, which made it an inhabitable space in the hottest hours.
The team agreed that the purpose of the intervention should be to recover the space, to encourage recreational activity, which contributes to both physical and mental development, and to create a space with features that characterize its context and recover local identity. Contact with the community was constantly sought to strengthen the role of the architect as an intermediary between citizens and the built environment, the city. In addition, it was suggested that the work should be carried out with the support of the community with ideas, materials and equipment, which allowed them to integrate the construction work, fostering the re-appropriation of their public spaces.
Students developed analysis exercises in the urban context and with the community’s help through site visits, identification of materials and vegetation of the area, interviews, discussion and consensus. The final proposal of intervention its concept and line of work was generated from these exercises. A reinterpretation of the line which is a constant natural landscape of Camargo and is brought to the built urban context led to the construction of a structure using reeds as the primary material. These reeds were placed randomly and were united and strengthened by wire leading to the creation of structures with different shapes, height and shadow effects. Wood, stone and vegetation of the area were added to the reeds as complements.
By being in contact with both the community and the intervention area the students identified the space as a potential generator of different uses throughout the day. In a first stage, students challenged the locals transforming the transition space City – Cemetery in an outdoor cinema. The acceptance was significant which proves the potential of the regenerated space. In a second stage, the challenge was to intervene in public spaces, in this case the central market; there was a presentation of the concept to check the people’s reaction. Once again, the response was positive — the locals identified themselves with the material used (the reeds) and praised the dynamic volumetric of the proposal, as well as the shadow created by this structure.
“URAYCAMUY” emerges as an intervention in the built environment, which generates and regenerates flows and new dynamics. With a renewed image which is functional, integrated in the context, identified in different parts of the city, as well as permeable, with pace and coordinated with other sectors that communicate and connect with it. This proposal not only reinforces the recovery of the character and use of the space but also fosters the appropriation of space by the people of Camargo.