After a couple of days in Coro I took the two bus journey back to Caracas – the capital of Venezuela and possibly the most dangerous city in the world, according to Wikitravel. I arrived at dusk and decided to opt for a hotel in the part of town generally agreed to be the safest, rather than go for cheaper accommodation in a dodgier-after-dark area. My taxi driver was unable to locate the street for the hotel I’d got details of so I got him to drop me at the nearest metro station and found it myself using a map at a bus stop and directions from staff at another hotel.
This is the first modern heritage site I’ve visited since the two in Mexico City and it made a welcome change from colonial architecture. I also much prefered this site to UNAM – this campus just feels like a nicer place and is better kept and greener.
This is another large ensemble of buildings (although not as vast as UNAM), built between 1945 and 1960 under the planning leadership of architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva . The buildings were conceived as being sculptural themselves but the campus also incorporates art works, including sculpture, stained glass and mosaic wall panels.
The architecture is also intended to evoke more traditional aspects of Venezuelan colonial architecture in the use of bright colours, internal gardens and pierced ventilation screens.
The campus UNESCO is listed not just as a collection of individual buildings but also for the overall approach to modern urban planning. Certainly I found it an agreeable place to walk around and sit and people watch and a network of covered walkways between the building clusters help keep you out of the sun.
One of the buildings I particularly liked was the central cafeteria but I later read on the UNESCO site that more recent extensions to this building were considered to be detrimental to the overall spatial layout of the university.
With such large buildings it is difficult to build a whole one from my tiny Lego kit whilst representing any of the interesting detail. The building I wanted to build is this one, the faculty of Electrical Engineering:
In the end, I’ve built just a small section of it (and had to change the yellow to tan) but I hope it gives the general idea.