Excerpt: Tres Pozos: Centre of Services – an academic project by Darryl Herrera Torres from Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Universidad Ricardo Palma, Peru, aims to create spaces around water and vegetation that can be inhabited by the community of Villa El Salvador, a district of Lima. The center becomes a facilitator of community life by providing spaces for festivities, neighborhood meetings, playgrounds, meditation and social interaction, among many other activities.
Introduction: Synonymous with life and health, water has played an important role in human life. Many cities were built near this natural resource, and some places were also used as social meeting places. In Villa el Salvador this resource is scarce, so this service center will not only provide social assistance to the people but will also mitigate the problem of lack of water. Thanks to a greywater treatment system, which purifies the grey water; so that it can be used as social meeting spaces such as swimming pools for children in the CUNAMAS, hydrotherapies in CASE and CIAM and amphitheaters for public use.
The aim is to create spaces around water and vegetation that can be inhabited by the local people, using them for festivities, neighborhood meetings, playgrounds, meditation and social interaction, among other uses.
The project is located in Villa El Salvador, a district of Lima, that originated as a human settlement when a group of people occupied a vacant land. Due to the work of its inhabitants, especially women who organized everything from scratch, it was possible to create a great community that generated livelihood opportunities for its residents.
Today, Villa El Salvador is a poor district, which lacks adequate infrastructure to provide health services, education, food, etc. Hence, a Service Center has become the need of the hour for the community; a place that can provide different types of services for the most vulnerable and low-income groups. A network of such centers was proposed to cater to the people for the entire district, through urban analysis. The best locations for these proposed centers were identified from the point of easy accessibility and maximum reach within each sector.
Each center’s program consists of: a health center, a child development program (CUNAMAS), a technical training program for youth and adults (CETPRO), a support program for battered women (CASE), a program for the participation and integration of the elderly (CIAM), general administration, and housing units for the relocated families.
As discussed earlier, the design process for the academic project began by first identifying the area of intervention in Villa El Salvador, a district of Lima. As a next step, a site analysis was performed to help arrive at an appropriate location for the proposed Center of Services. The criteria for the analysis included easy accessibility of the center keeping in mind the pedestrian and vehicular movements of people within the sector. A central location within the sector made the center accessible to all the people.
The next challenge was to develop an appropriate program for the center, keeping in mind the new requirements in terms of provision of various services/facilities for the entire sector, on one hand; and calculating the amount of people/families that needed to be accommodated in the new housing units, who were getting relocated as result of the proposed center, on the other hand. With the help of a flow chart and study models a range of ideas were explored to arrive at a tentative organization of mass and void within the site.
Water, and particularly drinking water, is one of the core issues at Villa el Salvador. An attempt was made in the design process to address this by looking at water not just as a resource/commodity, but also as a generator of design, as a medium of social interaction. A gray water recycling system was incorporated in the design process, taking advantage of the slope of the site and local species of aquatic plants that help purify greywater, in a manner that it also created spaces for social interaction.
Once everything was planned at the site level, the design process focused on design development of the individual buildings; solving the program, circulation, structure, and other technical requirements inherent to the project. The project was developed in coherence with the concept and the surrounding context. The final presentation of the project consisted of a physical model at 1:100 scale, 3D views, plans and sections showcasing the final outcome for the proposed Center of Services.
The final outcome of the academic project is in the form of a Service Center, a place for community, that proposes solutions to various social problems in the context of Villa el Salvador, a district of Lima. The project takes into consideration specific conditions of the site such as the topography, the environment, the flora and the lifestyle of people.
“Tres Pozos” aims to be a great built environment that provides services and support to the people of the district of Villa el Salvador, particularly to those who are most needy. The center provides many services, especially to women which is a reflection of Amilcar Soto Rodriguez’s composition that says: “mujeres de arena que dejan huella al pasar”.
“Tres Pozos” seeks to leave a mark on its users through the sensitivity of its spaces, such that most of the user groups feel included and actively participate in a society where they receive help from community.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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