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The world’s only most famous and prolific architectural photographer Iwan Baan has recently visited Caracas’s Torre de David, the 45-story skyscraper-turned vertical city for squatters. The images, which were originally featured by NYMag, capture the living conditions of the tower’s inhabitants, who, despite their derelict dwelling spaces, have built a strong and vibrant community in the shell of South America’s eight tallest tower. Read on.
The tower was originally part of an urban renewal plan to privatize and modernize the center of Caracas’s business district with a gigantic glass skyscraper meant to symbolize Venezuela’s arrival at the global economic stage. The project, which was to be outfitted with luxury apartments, a swimming pool, and even a helipad, would have been the domain of bankers and their wealthy clients. But a series of socioeconomic mishaps, including the crash of the collapse of the national banks, put an end to the project, and construction on the Torre de David was abandoned. It now stands as what may be the world’s greatest modern ruin this side of J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise”.