Sunday, 18 November 2012


Roberto Burle Marx's Parque del Este

Burle Marx's organic plan for Parque del Este in Caracas

The Brazilian artist and landscape architect Robert Burle Marx harmoniously integrated urban design, architecture, and nature at Parque del Este in the densely populated and developed city of Caracas. By 1958, the government had designated the east side of the valley in Caracas for a system of parks, and Marx was commissioned to design the 190-acre landscape. Parque del Este was completed in 1961 and became a verdant haven for its residents and visitors. The prominence of the park encouraged an appreciation for landscape, conservation, and the environment in the country. Internationally, it is regarded as a highly significant modernist landscape.

Unfortunately, in the last 30 years, the park has been subject to neglect and mismanagement. Fences and kiosks have been ingenuously placed throughout, and the original elements of the park—the plant life, roads, benches, and fountains—are in a state of decay. The most flagrant intervention in the Parque del Este is the placement of a vast, life-size ship (ten stories high) and museum on Lake 9. The local community has been attempting to halt the ongoing construction, and additional international support and recognition are needed in order to help restore the harmony and integrity of Parque del Este. 

The fountains, patios and tiles are still in renovation, a work that should have been finished in celebration of the bicentenary of Independence in 2011.

read also Anita Berrizbeitia's text, Parque del Este Caracas: Between a Critical Naturalism and a Critical Formalism

visit previous post, a visit to Sitio Burle Marx in Rio de Janeiro, here

dedicated to curator Julieta Gonzalez, and to all my Venezuelan friends who can't walk in the park anymore

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