Vertical Gym Chacao
Most of the buildable land in slums is claimed by housing, leaving minimal space for community facilities. To address this, U-TT focused on the latent potential of small, rundown sports pitches within the dense urban fabric of Caracas’ barrios. The first Vertical Gym was built in 2004 for the municipality of Chacao, creating a low-cost, multilevel recreation complex. It was designed as a prefabricated kit of parts that can be assembled in three months and customized to fit different topological, climactic, and programmatic needs.
The gym’s base is superimposed upon an existing sports field or vacant lot, transforming the site into a safe recreational facility. More than a building, the Vertical Gym is a piece of social infrastructure that has reduced crime rates, promoted healthy lifestyles, and strengthened social capital. The flexible modular design can be adapted to the needs and means of diverse clients, whether by building specific parts, or in phases over time. Four gyms have been completed to date, with others in development around the world.