El Bosque de la Esperanza

In a Bogotá favela, a sport center recently completed by Giancarlo Mazzanti represents a project for community and social change.

El Bosque de la Esperanza [Hope Forest] is a sport center designed by Giancarlo Mazzanti in the outskirts of Bogotá where the community can practice and engage in several sports and take part in various recreational and academic activities that help foster a cooperative community. This project was made possible thanks to the foundation Pies Descalzos, founded by the Colombian superstar Shakira and the Spanish NGO Ayuda en Acción.

Location:
This Project is located in the municipally of Soacha, Altos de Cazucá. This lies in a very depressed area that lacks of public infrastructure. This area is known for its security problems and it has become the shelter of thousands of people that have been displaced from their home towns due to recent conflict.

Approach:
Mazzanti came to the project with the belief that architecture's value lies in what it can produce. Mazzanti is interested in producing actions, change and relationships which in turn help generate shapes, patterns or open organizations that act in the construction of social actions. Hope Forest is what Mazzanti calls an open project, a project made out of modules that have the potential to grow and adapt to different situations. It consists of a canopy where modules can be added depending on the circumstances.

Design:
The Sport Center consists of a 1.744 m2 horizontal surface and a 700 m2 dome of spatial structure, which "evokes a bunch of trees as a symbol of nature, union and hope in the area of Altos de Cazuca". The dimensions of the canopy are approximately 22.7m x 30.8m, with a perimeter of 138.198m.

Each of the modules is a polyhedron of 12 surfaces, a dodecahedron. These are custom-fabricated and iterate numerous time to form the canopy. The structural canopy functions as a beam plane, supported over the two axes of the columns. The materials used were expanded mesh, round metal pipe and translucent tile. El Equipo de Mazzanti



Architect: Giancarlo Mazzanti
Design team: Juan Manuel Gil, Lorena Gonzaléz, Jonathan Hernandéz, Liv Johana Zea, Charline Lalanne
Structural engineering: Nicolás Parra
Construction supervision: ARQ-Consultoría
Landscape design: Mazzanti arquitectos
Client: Fundación Pies Descalzos
Built area: 700 m²
Cost: 1.090.000.000 pesos colombianos = 419.096 euro
Design phase: August-December 2010
Construction phase: March-August 2011
The construction is composed of a repeatable modular polyhedron, borne by a tubular metal frame.
The construction is composed of a repeatable modular polyhedron, borne by a tubular metal frame.
The shanty towns of Bogotà occupy 55% of the city’s fabric. Their actively dynamic and productive, steadily growing systems adapt easily to an ever-changing society.
The shanty towns of Bogotà occupy 55% of the city’s fabric. Their actively dynamic and productive, steadily growing systems adapt easily to an ever-changing society.
Mazzanti built a tree-like structure that covers a small square, most of it occupied by a football field.
Mazzanti built a tree-like structure that covers a small square, most of it occupied by a football field.

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