Catalyst Cube, Caracas, Venezuela

Improving the quality of life of local people, regaining the feeling of ownership over their city and promoting a responsible use of public spaces to make a safer city.

The information on this project was compiled by students from the University of Geneva as part of the Urban Futures Workshop (full report).


The Catalyst Cube is a reconfigurable social, cultural and educational space that acts as a focal point where different communities meet. It is an accessible intervention placed directly into the existing landscape. Its flexible design is a focal point for the community, a hub for conversation and play, and a way the neighborhood can take ownership of their environment.

Caracas is a city of contrasts, urban and rural, formal and informal, divided by physical and psychological barriers. Among the issues that currently affect the city is the decrease in public spaces for leisure and entertainment, risk of security and violence, compounded by its dense population and deficiency of services. Despite the difficulties, there is hope. By engaging with the city’s fabric the people of Caracas are beginning to make their mark.

Implementation period : Continuous
Date: November 2019
Time life of the project : >1 year
Achieved / on going : On-going
Cost : British Council, Reframing Spaces Caracas
Status of land : Public
Type of place : Urban areas within the city, public spaces in local municipalities/neighborhoods

Opportunities for knowledge sharing. © Edgar Martinez
Opportunities for knowledge sharing. © Edgar Martinez


  • British Council, Reframing Spaces Caracas
  • Professional team: British architect Will Sandy, Venezuelan architect Stefan Gzyl, team from Incursiones, LuisRa Bergolla promoter of the CCSen365 urban program and General Manager of the Collectivox Association
  • Local partnerships: architecture students from Universidad Central de Venezuela and Simon Bolivar University (to develop early project ideas and their context), citizens (to frame and focus on the positives of the city, sharing their views with the hashtag #FocusCaracas)
  • Socio-cultural organizations, artists, cultural promoters, community members
  • City, municipalities

Target audience

Included citizens with emphasis on local families and children.

Type of actions

  • Green & cultural activations
  • Removeable, participative
  • Transformational, replicable

Citizen participation

The project was controlled by the municipality, but had active participation of the local citizens and other stakeholders lasting throughout the entire development process of the Cube. Who was participating varied depending on which specific program was being offered. Overall, the main concept of the Catalyst Cube was participatory, with its design meant to connect people with their immediate environment, while its presence created an instant neighborhood focal point.

Type of intervention

  • Public space/existing landscape intervention
  • Social, cultural and educational interventions: gatherings, sports, exhibitions, community events, neighborhood meetings
  • Environmental intervention: planting, green roofs


  • Accessibility, engagement; placed directly into existing landscape to inspire social, cultural & educational exchanges
  • Brings nature into the city, connecting people with the public realm
  • Green roof grounds the project into the landscape & local climate
  • Intrinsic flexibility allows support of a diverse range of activities


In life, there are three places that humans identify with: the home, the workplace and the third place. The Catalyst Cube sets out to be a third, and crucially green, place in the urban landscape. Furthermore, The Cube has ongoing potential to be a moveable and reusable asset for local councils, developers and organizations to adopt and utilize across multiple locations.

A local landmark. © Edgar Martinez
A local landmark. © Edgar Martinez


British Council:
+58 212 750 39 00

Reframing Spaces Caracas - Building Centre:
+44 (0)20 7692 4000
Will Sandy



  • Type of action : aménagement / équipement
  • State : En cours
  • Starting date : Nov. 1, 2019