Parque Caracas La Carlota

Project: Parque Caracas La Carlota
Master Plan: July 2012
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Size: 250 Acres

Parque Caracas La Carlota: Agua Alta aspires to not only transform the Francisco de Miranda military air base into a world-class civic amenity, but also looks to create a new hybrid hydrological and ecological infrastructure that supports the entire city of Caracas.

Aeropuerto La Carlota sits at a strategic location within the metropolitan region. Its position between Roberto Burle Marx’s renowned Parque del Este to the north and the unpredictable, polluted sewer that is the Rio Guaire to the south suggests solely building a conventional green park is not an efficient use of the airport’s 103 hectares.

Instead, we choose to see the conversion of the airport as a catalyst for a larger transformation of the entirety of the Rio Guaire corridor within the city’s limits.

We propose to transform the La Carlotta territory into a green infrastructural landscape that is able to negotiate—and take advantage of—the Guaire’s seasonal floods by intentionally shaping the land to receive the rising waters of the river. This sculpted ground is able to accommodate a significant volume of water—slowing the overall current of the river to the east—and at the same time, capturing the floodwaters for “natural” processing and transfer into a new metropolitan micro-reservoir.

In addition, the “high ground” produced by this topographic shaping creates venues that are protected from potential mud slides, as well as can accommodate temporary housing areas should a natural disaster befall the city. A resurfaced runway acts as a datum against which this shaping of the ground is measured—and would be usable should the need arise.

The lush, dramatic “park” landscape of our proposal is noteworthy on its own. However, the project’s capacity to provide flood mitigation, water filtration, temporary disaster relief, and a micro reservoir for the city all in combination with a one of kind urban public realm represents a compelling vision of what a 21st century metropolitan park can be.