El Pochote

This study is focusing on the relocation of San Jose's impoverished population out of the urban river corridors that they occupy in great numbers to safer, cleaner and legally established residential areas; thus creating the opportunity to reanimate the original function of the green river trajectories as urban nature and spaces for recreation, a project called Trama Verde.

The urban informal settlement El Pochote was chosen as a case study site. It is located at the southern edge of the four central districts of Costa Rica's capital San Jose; displaying all symptoms of a socially segregated society and a spatially fragmented urban development.

What type of architecture would enable the inhabitants to live a socially included life on a densified territory that is connected to the rest of the city? Included in this proposal for the municipality of San Jose are eight designs for mid-rise and low-rise housing that negotiate the division of private, public and collective domain. The productive buildings would enable the target population to harvest natural resources like water, sun energy and biogas.

The study was executed in collaboration with Bill Price and the University of Houston; a multidisciplinary team work approach included expertise from Costa Rica as well as the United Sates.

The work was presented in A Foundations' exhibition project on Migration and Urban Development in San Jose, Costa Rica as well as in the exhibition series EW/NS at the centre for architecture Arc en Reve in Bordeaux, France.


A Foundation (Oliver Schütte, Marije van Lidth de Jeude, Quirine Eijkman, Sebastian Koch, Sarah Niesert, and Gonzalo Retana Chinchilla), Bill Price Inc (Bill Price with Scott Mc Ghee and Catarina Canas), the University of Houston (Professor Bill Price with Watkins Hamilton Ross, Tim Derrington, Marquisha Emory, David Hopper, Dimitri Karavias, Sophia Malik, Chris Shem, Ben Silewicz, Cedric Spears and Oliver Schütte as invited professor), the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences (Gerardo Madrigal, Patricia Mauricio, Ninette Morales, Marian Perez, Francisco Rodas, Miriam Soza Irene Torres), the Municipality of San José (Mauricio Vega Ramirez), and i3m2r (Karin Anema, Hanneke Kloosterman)

Location: San José, Costa Rica

Status: Concept Design

Year: 2004-2005