bulevar sucre


el hatillo, caracas


area: 4100 m2

client: fondo de valores inmobiliarios s.a. c.a. 

design and supervision: mrpunto arquitectos asociados 
in collaboration with bastidas & salinas  

design team: alberto schwarz, daniel zambrano, jose miguel sosa,
luis la fratta, maria fernanda rodríguez & mauricio godoy

structural engineering: edisismo c.a.

sanitary engineering: ingeniería amelinckx c.a.

construction company: constructora satini

lanscape advisory: doctor en matas

photography: lu media - luciano ortiz


the shopping mall paseo el hatillo la lagunita is an enormous structure built in 2005 focused on a growing middle and upper class. venezuela was undergoing economic growth and more suburbs were developing in the east of the city, specially in el hatillo district. to the other side of the mall, the colonial town of el hatillo, was mostly ignored.

in 2010 the economic crisis strikes venezuela affecting commercial, services and toursim activities, emptying bit by bit the shopping mall.

for years, the conection between the mall and the colonial town of el hatillo was an improvised bus terminal, since the town lacked an official one.

in 2019, the economy started to grow and suprisingly the town gained more popularity with traditions and their gastronomic offer. but the mall was left aside.

then, in december 2021, the town hall decided it was finally time to build an official bus terminal; and the chaotic connection that existed between the town and the mall was left empty and became a big question mark.

this presented an opportunity for the shopping mall to catch up with the potential striving from the town. the exchange was simple: the shopping mall needed the people visiting the town and the town needed a parking lot. about 1000 unused parking places are inside the shopping mall.


the site is divided by the street bella vista, on one side (east) you have the mall and on the other (west) the colonial town el hatillo, finishing southwest with plaza sucre, declared a national monument for its historical value.

plaza sucre was a triangle formed by a wall with the looks of a fortress only accessible by two stairs from the lowest point of the street. it was used as a space for people waiting for the bus, but still a very lonely place, concealed from most of the views from the street.

the plaza had trees that had grown and gave a nice shade for the people waiting for the bus, but also the planters containing them divided the space, isolating people and interrupting potential connections and visuals.


by limiting the vehicles we are able to make wider sidewalks and create a new plaza where the old terminal was. as a consequence two squares are confronted: the old plaza sucre and the new square we temporarily named "plaza cota cero". the unevenness and the visuals  of both plazas, made it possible to host shows and events in
the new square that can be seen from plaza sucre.

to connect the two plazas we decided to make a sole surface that mitigates the physical boundaries we found in traditional streets; these limits are often found as steps in sidewalks, staircases for unevenness in the topography or gutter systems in steep places.

the idea came from an example that our dear teacher and mentor ricardo avella showed us: royal vegetable garden in tervuren, belgium by org permanent modernity. this plaza helps connect two levels between two buildings by using a system of ramps in an oblique form, allowing to create planters and seatings between the voids generated by the ramps. the most important aspect that inspired us is that the system is walkable in any direction, you can cross the plaza in a straight line if you wish to, but if you have a stroller you can use the ramps as well.

this great surface is covered by a huge pattern like a big pedestrian striping, making the pedestrians  the main character for free circulation and limiting the vehicles in narrower streets.

the inclined surface also offers the opportunity for ramps for easier access for the handicapped. also creating planters with new and existing trees for shades, taking advantage of the visuals that can be obtained from higher up.

manipulating the surface also lets us solve problems such as drainage in a tropical city such as caracas. we set the drainage of the streets in the middle, rather than the borders.

the urban furniture was thought to be dynamic, displayed over the void with no fixed program so people and kids could reinterpret their usages: concrete spheres, curved benches and planters for seating.

publications + nominations:

2024 mchap.emerge