Vertical Gym (Gimnasio Vertical)

Exhibition: Cities | October 11, 2011 by

Limited land and high crime rates in the dense informal settlements and slums of Caracas made it unsafe for children to play and participate in sports. Local architects transformed a rundown sports field in Chacao’s Barrio La Cruz into Chacao Vertical Gym (Gimnasio Vertical), a four-story sports, recreation, and cultural event facility. Taking cues from residents who are unable to expand out, the architects built up on the 1,000-square-meter (10,700 sq. ft.) site without displacing any families. The popular new public space, with 15,000 users a month, has helped to reduce crime in this barrio by over 30% by offering a safe, open space that nurtures fair play, tolerance, and a civic community through sports competition.

Based on the initial 2002 Chacao design, UTT developed a building system as a kit of parts in 2004, which allows flexible design and construction. Stacked volumes are reassembled and programmed for different locations in response to local needs. Caracas’s government is constructing four additional Gimnasios Verticals—Baruta GV includes an outdoor market; Los Teques GV has an aquatic sports center; Ceiba GV incorporates a library and metrocable station; and El Dorado GV includes space for informal vendors.

A prefabricated bolted-steel construction system is erected onsite. A ramp provides access at every level, eliminating the expense of an elevator. The latest design incorporates recycled materials, wind towers, solar panels, and rainwater collection to reduce environmental impact and operational costs. UTT is changing the way people think in other parts of the world about sports areas in dense, low-income neighborhoods. Hybrid Vertical Gyms are proposed for several New York City public schools, as well as in Rusaifah, Jordan, and Hoograven, the Netherlands, which is planning a dynamic sport, cultural, and commercial complex.

Architects: Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, Urban Think Tank, and Matias Pinto D’Lacoste and Mateo Pinto D’Lacoste (Chacao prototype), with Thomas Auer, Ruedi Baur, Felix Caraballo, Jose Miguel Peres, and Ricardo Toro (Chacao); structural engineer: Andres Steiner, Ignacio Carrillo (Chacao); electrical engineer: Freddy Ferro, Antonio Vicens (Chacao). Caracas, Venezuela, 2004–present. Bolted steel structure assembled on site with prefabricated pieces on reinforced concrete foundation slab; exterior materials: galvanized expanded metal mesh, Carbolux polycarbonate translucent opaque panels

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5 responses to Vertical Gym (Gimnasio Vertical)

  1. To those in charge of editing, curating and publishing this blog, exhibition and catalog I would ask to upon confronting the undeniable truth may they take the appropriate actions and correct this mistake. If further information is required I would be happy to assist in locating and contacting the appropriate sources of information.

  2. The project of the Vertical Gym of “El Barrio La Cruz” in Chacao belongs to Matias and Mateo Pinto D’Lacoste, authors of the mentioned project.
    Colaborators: Hubert Klumpner and Ricardo Toro.
    Structural Engineer: Ignacio Carrillo
    Electric Engineer: Antonio Vicens
    Plumbing Engineer: Andre Amelinckx
    Emergency Services Engineer: Fernando Piquero
    (All this information can be found at the bottom of the descriptive text)

  3. To those unable to open the link or understand the contents (apologies, since the website belongs to the Municipality of Chacao in Caracas, Venezuela and its contents are in Spanish)

  4. To those who believe in knowledge, creation and are interested in the truth I have only to refer you to the source (copy and paste the following link) http://www.chacao.gov.ve/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=late

  5. To the called “architects/authors” of this project I have nothing to say since there is clearly no shame nor dignity in their tireless efforts to claim a project that does not belong to them.

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