Proyecto Volcadero is a bi-national collaboration that democratized knowledge of architectural education, pedagogies, and urban planning practices established in the United States. The result is a physical and social transformation manifested through the "Volcadero Coral Park".
This park is located in Volcadero, a rural fishing community, located in the bay of Guanta, an important commercial port in the country. The creation of a recreational space was one of the objectives identified by the community, as well as the promotion of a place to host competitions and practices of the canoeing and water polo sports and space for market events, celebrations, and meetings.
Starting as an architectural thesis, the premise for the development of the Volcadero Project was urban intervention, emerging as a result of the participatory process to amplify the voices of the local community and promote ways of learning for professors and students of Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee (USA), the University of Oriente (Venezuela), and Arizona State University. This was achieved through the EDIT workshop methodology (Zingoni 2017) that proposes to involve future users and local experts (engage), design from the voices of the protagonists (design), generate the possibility of change (ignite), and transform the community (transform).
The architectural proposal responds to three elements of cultural value, the "weaving" of the local indigenous community, the Kariñas, the "fishing", where together they gather the nets in the water, and the "dance", in the movement of the skirts during traditional dances, and together they form part of their identity. These metaphors take shape through a system of three pavilions located on a 187 m² lot, based on the modulation of its elements to compose a rhythm that is reflected in the shadows generated by the pavilion during the course of the day and that, with the presence of the porches that decrease and increase in height, create a visual effect that is complemented by the combination of colors.
The design considered the coexistence of the architectural intervention and the landscape, from the recovery of the space in an efficient and lasting way, referring to the value of union and sustainability. This is reflected in the construction processes of the benches, made with reusable materials through courses by the American NGO Everlasting marks® and the teacher Milagros Zingoni, building benches with old rubber, covered with ceramics and broken glass that would be discarded. This technique was also used to create an artistic mural on the wall next to the plot.
The Volcadero Coral Park is the first public space in the area that is the product of participatory design between the local community, students, and professors from three faculties of architecture. This type of experience is fundamental, not only to prepare future architects but also to empower vulnerable communities and promote the transformation that education and social responsibility can bring to a nation.