Transit Shelter in Las Flores, Barranquilla, Colombia
Spring, 2011: Adib Cure & Carie Penabad
Three means of transportation intersect at the small town of Las Flores: the tram which takes fishermen, residents, tourists, and curious students to Bocas de Ceniza; the bus which currently drives along the Via 40 connecting workers and residents to the heart of the sloping city; and the boat which connects fishermen from the Magdalena River to the heart of Las Flores, along a road that harbors a number of quality neighborhood restaurants that buy and cook the fish that is caught in the very same coast. The proposal is simple – extend the bus route to the project site to unite these three forms of mobility.
The proposal incorporates wood and concrete construction, both of which are commonly used in the region. The design responds to the conditions of the location and reflects the wisdom of vernacular construction methods. Its form opens to frame the view to the water, either while waiting for the next leg of the commute or simply while taking a respite from the intense heat typical of the area. The buoyancy of wood is expressed visually as the roof lightly sits on the structure. The base transitions up from the floor supporting the wood assembly. The dynamic nature of transportation is also reflected in its form. The base, which slopes up to address flooding, common to a large portion of Barranquilla, is constructed of poured in-place concrete with wood formworks leaves behind the unique surface texture and variations typical of wood, resulting in a “natural skin” that textures its surface. Modularity in construction is adapted to make for a quick-to-build, easy-to-fix pavilion. Louvered screens divide two realms: one out to the water and one out to the street; both provide filtered visibility to the opposing side. The glass tile detail is a reference to the water, as well as homage to Tecnoglass, the local company that often aids this neighboring community.
The realization of this modest, yet potentially iconic structure will hopefully result in increased tourist activity bringing life to this forgotten, unappreciated coast, as well as provide welcomed rest and ease of transport for those who make a living by fishing at the edge of the river - something of which Barranquilla should be very proud.
Status: School Project
Location: Las Flores, Barranquilla, Colombia