Centro Financiero Confinanzas (Venezuela)
To those unaware of its history, the Centro Financiero Confinanzas looks like any other unfinished skyscraper. It is the eighth tallest building in Latin America at 45 stories, and is located in the financial district of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Its glass façade glimmers in the sun, a projection of wealth and economic prowess that was intended to house national and international businesses. Inside, however, hides a rather different reality. That’s because, while the “Torre David,” named after its main investor David Brillembourg, may look like the newest high rise addition to the Caracas skyline, it is actually home to over 700 families, a “vertical slum” that is a truly fascinating example of reappropriation of space in an urban environment.
Construction started on the tower in 1990, yet the death of Brillembourg in 1993, as well as the Venezuelan banking crisis one year later, meant that construction ground to a halt. It lay unoccupied and unfinished, an ironic symbol of financial failure that was intended to represent the unstoppable march of Venezuela’s petro-fueled booming economy. To this day it is a shell, a skeletal construction whose bare structural bones became, in October of 2007, a remarkable opportunity for an intrepid group of squatters, families whose economic and social situation led them to seek a new life. The views were incredible but deadly, with a god-like view of a city that had failed to accommodate its newest inhabitants.