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Old 06-11-2017, 01:12 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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June 11th, 2017: El Helicoide

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The project was conceived in the late 1950s by architects Pedro Neuberger, Dirk Bornhorst and Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, for the Venezuelan dictator and President Marcos Perez Jimenez. When the project was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, it was hailed by everyone as a triumph of modernist design. Nobel-Prize winning Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda declared it "one of the most exquisite creations to emerge from the mind of an architect", and Salvador Dalí offered to decorate the inside.

It was supposed to be the world’s first drive-through shopping mall with a 2.5 mile long spiraling ramp for cars to ascend, descend, and park directly in front of the shops they wanted to visit. There was space for more than three hundred stores, and would have included a 5 star hotel, a movie theater with seven screens, exhibition halls, a gym, a pool, a bowling alley, a nursery and a lot more.



It didn’t get finished before Jimenez was booted out so the money stopped and of course so did the work. In three years over
10,000 squatters moved in and it became the place to go for sex, drugs, and Salsa music.
In 1982 the government said kick the squatters out so we can turn it into a Museum of History and Anthropology.
But in the process of kicking the squatters the Venezuelan intelligence police, said we like this place. Those 300 stores would
make great holding cells, torture chambers, training schools(in torturing), shooting practice ranges, and offices.
The police were rounding up so many it turned into a prison.



Quote:
“A new kind of darkness set upon the building, arising from its conversion into a detention center,” writes cultural historian Celeste Olalquiaga. “High-tech surveillance equipment was installed, officers delighted to be able to ride their cars to their offices à la James Bond. There were political prisoners, there was torture; SWAT teams would stop anyone taking a picture of the building from the surrounding highways.”
With all the protests going on I imagine they’re packed in like sardines now.

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Old 06-11-2017, 06:52 AM   #2
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I wonder how many of the people who work there are soooooooo tired of the 2.5 mile drive looping around the whole thing to get to the top floor offices...unless they installed some kind of car-size freight elevator.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:36 AM   #3
xoxoxoBruce
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Better to be driving 'round and 'round than being inside.
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Old 06-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #4
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Fuckin' A.
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Old 06-13-2017, 02:40 AM   #5
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Crazy. A classic story.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:20 AM   #6
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