Spontaneous architecture | Íñigo García Odiaga

Favela Painting, 2006, one project of Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn

The values of the autoconstructed cities. The economy of the globalization, with the current crisis between his modals, drags without concessions to the contemporary company towards a major imbalance between classes; maybe forgotten in west but not much less in the emergent countries. This imbalance accentuates the borders between the city of the urbanism and what we might name the spontaneous city, that of the favelas, the shanties or the royal glens.

Brazil is recognized at present as one of the most important emergent economies of the planet, and curiously in this Latin-American country we find at the social level and urban contrast difficultly reconcilable.

At the beginning of this year 2010 50 were celebrated anniversary of the inauguration of Brasilia, maybe the most ambitious urban development constructed proyectos of the 20th century. The president of progressive court Juscelino Kubitschek organized a contest to construct the new capital in a forest zone of the center of the country in which there was nothing. The town planner Lucio Costa project a plant of geometric rotundity in the shape of boomerang to give content to the infrastructures of the city and a joung Oscar Niemeyer constructed with an unequivocally modern language all the representative buildings of the city. Forty a meses later was inaugurating Brasilia baptized as a miracle of concrete arisen from nothing. Brasilia was designed as a Utopia of equality and modernity, but with the perspective that they give 50 passed critical years as William J. R. Curtis considers the result to be today unsuccessful, especially regarding the initial aim of social equality. The planned urbanism of the modern movement, with big opened spaces and enormous residential apples articulated by the great monumental axis of the administrative buildings has generated a city dependent on the vehicle in which the rich ones travel to and from and the poor are forced to live in this empty space.

Brasilia, Lucio Costa and Lucio Costa

At the far end and an antithetic history Rocinha meets. Rocinha is the name of one of the biggest favelas of Rio of Janeiro. According to official information it is calculated that in her about 57.000 persons reside, that is to say a population to half a way between that of the municipality of Santurtzi and Irun, for establishing two nearby modals. In 1931 it got up considered as the first illegal building of the favela, the steps for his demolition began in the year 1952. The laziness of a very bureaucratized administration propitiated that many immigrants come to Rio to be employed at the works of infrastructures of the south zone of the city were looking for his space in Rocinha.

There are undeniable the problems that these spontaneous methods of settling of the territory generate. Neighborhoods with problems of health, with networks of supply without any type of control, the utilization of lots with serious problems of stability of the area, to which it is necessary to add problematic of social nature as the insecurity, the illiteracy or the lack of social services.

Rocinha is a favela of the Zone South of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

But for contraposition to the orthodox model of Brasilia the social cohesion and the feeling collectivity is a cardinal value of this ” urban model “. Maybe this condition identitaria was discovered by the administration when in the protests and manifestations the favela was getting up as the only social element, without fissures and with strong unions between his members.

Precisely this condition of collectivity is the one that expert town planners have acclaimed and used as impulse for the reform of these accessions. Plans like the Favela Neighborhood, a program of action that by means of small projects of urban surgery it tries to obtain social benefits, promoting the integration and the transformation of the favela in neighborhood. Definitively breaks the image of this ” land of nobody ” that one day someone made his and that is the image of the architecture of the poverty by means of the rescue of the values inherent in these accessions as the social culture of community.

Both town planners and contemporary artists see in this feeling of collectivity, a potential that the academic city of the board of drawing to discipline possesses. This reality I raise the project Favela Painting, as a way of attracting the attention of the international community on the active values that they move to these communities that there is trasgredido the urban legality to be able to survive.

Favela Painting, 2006, one project of Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn

The project Favela Painting develops in another marginal slum of Rio, Vila Cruzeiro directed by the artists of Dutch origin Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn. The project tries to revalue the beauty of the urban structures arisen from random form, in which a great percentage of his inhabitants try to live coolly and honesty breaking the barrier of the poverty.

The artistic offer consists of painting by means of giant murals the vertical traffics of the favelas, transforming this way the walls that form the stairs and the walls of the housings in big cartels – shop windows that do the present favela for the challenge of the city. In addition the project rests on the local community to realize the works that are executed by the same randomness and spontaneity that created the urban plot almost 100 years ago.

The value of these accessions always reviled by his marginal origin, it resides in his social value and in that of his architecture. An architecture based on the spontaneity to give response to problematic individual that has been revealed as the best of the recipes for the collectivity, in contraposition to the urbanism projected for the collectivity that often forgets the problems of the individual.

Favela Painting, 2006, one project of Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn

íñigo garcía odiaga . architect

san sebastián. october 2008

It´s published in MUGALARI 10.10.08

Íñigo García Odiaga

Arquitecto. Editor de NOMU. 1/5 del estudio de arquitectura VAUMM. Vivo en Donosti.

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