Favela Skyscraper

By:  | April - 17 - 2015

Editor’s Choice
2015 Skyscraper Competition

Rodrigo Carranca Hernandez

Project Statement

Favelas, slums, hoovervilles or bidonvilles are informal settlements that lack property rights and provide below-average quality housing in agglomerations; they tend to lack basic infrastructure, urban services, social facilities and green areas. They are located in geographic areas with dangerous surroundings and / or extreme environments.

The existence of favelas has been known since the end of the XIX century; however, it was not until 1930 that they became an important part of the urbanization process in Brazil. Between 1941 and 1943, the country´s population grew significantly and the government did not know how to control this growth, they tried to develop various projects with urban purposes, but these never gave any results.

Steep streets, substandard housing, darkness, marginality, violence, insecurity, bad quality of life, disease, risk of being affected by natural disasters of all types and social and economic exclusion make its inhabitants seem like products creatures of the underworld. Overpopulation and exponential growth have created the perfect conditions to turn favelas into colonies of crime and drugs.

Project Purpose

Reinterpret the current concept of favelas inside a vertical city; control and plan the unmeasured growth of these settlements; provide a better quality of life for the inhabitants of favelas or of any similar informal settlement in the world by diminishing the risk of natural disasters, health and insecurity problems, violence and/or drug trafficking, by increasing access to better services and infrastructure and by eliminating existing economic and social contrasts.

Besides eliminating the existing contrasts, the main purpose of this project is to help inhabitants of favelas to be familiarized with the building and establish a relationship with it in which its functions and development adapt to the needs of the users, allowing them live in a space where their work, education, and health requirements are met. this project aims to increase the inhabitants’ economy, live up to the standards of any other city in brazil, offer public transportation and become a space where people can live freely and express their views without recurring to violence and/or crime.

The space where the favela was located will be reforested and used as a protected natural area.

Project Overview

An integral project with a parametric function based on a pattern from the theory of the “cellular automaton” by John Horton Conway in The Game of Life (1970), designed in three dimensions that can be expanded in a dynamic system based on the requirements, needs and number of users.

It is a self-sustainable building where climatic factors such as heat, humidity and rain are exploited to diminish the high costs of basic services. Thanks to the percentage of green areas located on the terraces and open spaces, water recollection is possible as well as harvesting produce for consumption or merchandising.

The project contemplates spaces for housing, health services, religious ceremonies or cults, public education, museums, forums, theatres and workshops for cultural activities, sport centers with the best equipment and a football stadium with great capacity, public and private offices, as well as large shopping centers, recreation sites, playgrounds and stores equipped with urban furniture. it has all the necessary facilities for energy and water to be stored and distributed for daily use.

The building is a conceptual proposal that works not only for favelas such as Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro, but that can be adapted to any similar vicinity, anywhere in the world.

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