The Karam building, once a modernist icon, is now
a dilapidated structure along Caracas’ Urdaneta Avenue, a testimony to a city
that is no more, a city of passive observers, apathetic and unable to recognize
the city’s treasures hidden in plain sight.
The project is centered on the act of observation
as an opportunity to acknowledge an urban icon and raise awareness of the state
of architectural heritage in our city. We aim at creating a scence on, around
and for the building so as to highlight and celebrate it while actively
engaging those who walk by. For this we rely on three devices:
A flower curtain suspended along the building’s
front façade, closing of the U-shaped courtyard. This device, made of live
flowers, should remain hung until all petals fall, thus highlighting the
passage of time and covering the sidewalk in front of the building in a
Three viewfinders, strategically placed on the
opposite sidewalk and pointing at specific details on the building’s facades,
invite pedestrians to pause and look up.
Spotlights, located under the glass panels that
line the pavement in front of the building, will help illuminate it and
activate this sidewalk during night-time.
These three devices treat this small piece of city
as a stage, an event we propose takes place for the next anniversary of
Caracas. While both the flower curtain and viewfinders would be temporary
installations, the spotlights would be a remainder of what happened and keep on
lighting up this important building.