Torre David/Gran Horizonte

Golden Lion winners Urban-Think Tank, Iwan Baan and Justin McGuirk bring a piece of Venezuela to the Corderie dell'Arsenale, with a temporary bar emulating the spirit of the world's tallest squat.

Halfway along the Arsenale exhibition route, Urban-Think Tank and Justin McGuirk's installation is a traditional Venezuelan restaurant, conveying the essence of research conducted by Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner), Justin McGuirk and photographer Iwan Baan , on the Torre David .

Torre David is a 45-storey skyscraper erected in the financial district of Caracas during the oil boom of the early 1990s. Abandoned after the death of the businessman David Brillembourg in 1993 and following the subsequent collapse of the Venezuelan economy, the skyscraper was occupied, 20 years later, by a community of more than 750 families, becoming the world's tallest squat.

This controversial icon to the serious lack of housing in Caracas has been radically transformed, in the Corderie dell'Arsenale, into an experimental platform exploring "informal" housing. Sounds, videos and pictures on the walls and, more importantly, the spontaneous participation of the Biennale public who invited to consume arepas and other Venezuelan culinary delights, introduce visitors, with no filters, to the lively and chaotic atmosphere of the slum.

The installation traces the theme of "common ground" in the direct dialogue triggered between the authentic social space of the restaurant and that of the emblematic "vertical community" of Caracas.
McGuirk and Urban-Think Tank successfully open a lively debate on the subject of informal settlements, tacitly recognised by public administrations as the only possible immediate solution.
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
The members of Urban-Think Tank argue that the future of urban development lies in collaboration among architects, private enterprise and the global population of slum-dwellers. For once, the positive aspects of an uncontrollable urban process that fearlessly reveals its potential for innovation seem to have been highlighted. Autonomous "cities within the city", these organisms grow and develop along with the social structure of the communities that live in them. In a desirable future where their role in the urban sphere is expressly legitimated, we shall be able to invest financially in more suitable and socially sustainable forms of "living" at last.Fabrizia Vecchione (@fbrz_vecchione)
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
<i>Torre David / Gran Horizonte</i>, 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012
Torre David / Gran Horizonte , 2012. Urban-Think Tank: Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner and Justin McGuirk (exhibit at Corderie, Arsenale. Winner of the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

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