The structure shines as a beacon of hope in the hardscrabble community.

BOGOTÁ – A stylized cluster of trees has sprouted from the shantytown of Altos de Cazucá on a steep hillside south of Bogotá.

Named Bosque de La Esperanza, it was created by Giancarlo Mazzanti – best known for the undulating canopy he co-designed for four sports venues in Medellín (Mark #27) – and is another example of how Colombian architects have rallied to help their neediest fellow citizens. ‘We believe in producing actions, change and relationships,’ Mazzanti says.

The 700-sq-m canopy comprises dodecahedrons of expanded steel mesh and translucent tile, supported on either side by tilted steel poles. The construction shades a concrete sports floor that doubles as a public plaza, while incorporating lighting for night use.

Illuminated, it shines as a beacon of hope in a hardscrabble community where trees and safe open spaces are rare. Such a beacon is especially valuable in this neighborhood, which was settled by refugees from the violent conflict with FARC guerillas in rural areas.

Photos courtesy of Jorge Gamboa

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