The urban renewal strategy in Colombia has taken roots in cities across the country, including Medellín, whose streets were under the rule of Pablo Escobar for years. For a while Medellín functioned as the world’s largest cocaine distribution center. In the last decade, with ambitions city administrators and public support, the city has undergone a rehabilitation process. Numerous projects, both built and unbuilt have sought to reinvigorate the urban center, while activating the most neglected neighborhoods.

Designed by Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos, the “Cubierta Cazucá” is a 700 square meter canopy in Bogota, transforming a basketball court in a hillside slum into a public space. the project is a field of compacted dodecahedrons made of green steel mesh and translucent tiles and supported on either side by a series of swaying steel poles. Lights embedded in the mesh illuminate the court at night. At one end, the canopy is situated adjacent to a school, while on the other, it straddles a sloping hill that overlooks the neighborhood. The floating geometric bed rises above its context without coming off as pretentious nor, amazingly, superfluous. On the contrary, Mazzanti’s canopy seems almost necessary, a “beacon of hope” for the hard pressed community.

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