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URBAN LIVING /S TÄ DTI SC H E S W O H N E N S A N J O S É C O S T A R I C A

Professur Andrea Deplazes Architektur + Konstruktion Departement Architektur ETH Zürich

T H E

H E A RT

O F

T H E

C I T Y

R E V I S I T E D

S T A D T – B I L D E R S AN J O S É

Philip John Shelley FS 2012


IMAGES OF THE CITY

visit ever made to the country. Circling

intended to convey a sense of place, and

around the same neighbourhoods in “ugly”

are indeed situated wherever possible,

Zurich, 30.4.12 An extended stay in the city in February this year was made possible by the generosity of the Ernst Degen Foundation. To them and to the many people who opened up avenues for the ongoing research, I am ever thankful. Even on such an extended stay only a certain fraction of any city can be experienced and recorded adequately. It might just have been the most peculiar

San José, whilst everyone else, is or is

especially for the site photography. And

dreaming of being by the beach / volcano

they have been chosen to portray the

/ rainforest.

range, character and heterogeneity of the

These images then are but a partial

city, as well as its wild beauty.

representation then of the city. They are a

San José is a young city, and it’s been

record of things that are of interest, and a

neglected. As I’ve stated elsewhere, the

transformation of the place into a (at least

most grave fact is that the idea of the city

partially abstract) visual language, whose

itself has been lost. Perhaps from these

influence on the tone and nature of the

fragments of an incomplete city, a new

project have been unmistakable. They are

image of the city might become visible.

Grey haze over Long Beach, NY, the monuumental water tower at Jones’ Beach visible in the middle of the image

3

Foreword

That great promising flatness, punctuated by water towers, stretched out towards the obscured horizon; for a haze of combustion had risen in the heat of the morning sun, and as your eye tracked upwards, the discernable landscape gave way to a thick radiant grey. The atmospheric conditions which conspired to keep it that way were unusually tangible, condemning the locals to wallow in their own pea soup. Yet later from the ground, of course, nothing seemed awry. This was en-route, South by South -West, on the way to San José.

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Index 1/5 Barrio Aranjuez

Barrio Amon 10

11

14

15

12

13

16

17

20

21

24

25

Central

MADC 18

19

22

23 Barrio Escalante

26

27

28

29

30

31

34

35

36

37

33

38

39

40

41


2/5 Santa Teresita

42

43

44

45 Antigua Aduana

46

47

Barrio Escalante

48

49

50

51 Plaza de Francia

52

53

54

55

San Pedro

56

57

58

59

62

63

66

67

Universidad de Costa Rica

60

61 Curridabat

64

65

UCR School of Architecture

68

69

70

71


3/5

72

Francisco Cotto 74

73

76

75

77

79

78

80

81

82

83 Contemporary Arts Centre

84

86

85

87

Atlantic Station

Barrio Aranjuez 88

89

90

91

94

95

98

99

Calderon Guardia Hospital 92

93

Calderon Guardia Hospital 96

97


4/5 Barrio Escalante

100

101

104

105

102

103

105

106

107

110

111

Downtown

Seguro Social 108

109

112

113

114

115

118

119

120

121

122

123

126

127

Paseo Colon

117

124

125


5/5 The Site 128

130

131

134

135

129

133

136

137

138

139

140

141

142

143

145

148 / 149

132

146

150

151

147

Map of Images 152 / 153

155

Epilogue


An arts foundation in Barrio Amon

10

STADTBILDER

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Roof structures in the inner city

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IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Train tracks curving east towards the Atlantic Station, at the edge of Barrio Aranjuez

12

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Housing on the way up to the hospital in Barrio Aranjuez 13

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The canopy of a car park on a site opposite the main buildings of the Calderon Guardia Hospital

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Planted lawn in front of the Supreme Courts of Justice 15

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


View out over the eastern quarter of the inner city

16

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IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Water tanks in the centre for contemporary arts in the heart of the city

18

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Renovated former radio broacasting house, now part of the arts centre 19

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Square in front of the National Museum, looking west

20

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Ministry for Energy and the Environment 21

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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The Sasso building, Barrio California

22

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The lines leading to the Atlantic Station 23

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


University of Costa Rica main administrative building

24

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A private house and office in Barrio Escalante 25

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


First floor balcony detail on a villa in Barrio Escalante

26

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Ironwork detail, near Plaza Francia, Barrio Escalante 27

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Vacant lot near the train tracks in Barrio Escalante

28

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The train line running along the edge of Barrio Escalante, facing west 29

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The southern edge of Barrio Escalante, facing east

30

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Wall in Barrio California

31

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


32

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Telephone mast in amongst the housing, Barrio California 33

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Apartment building, Barrio California

34

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Guard house of the apartment building 35

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Old housing in Barrio California

36

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37

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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An old villa

38

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Detail of villa

39

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Razor wire protecting a vacant lot

40

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A lush garden opposite

41

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Side entrance to the Santa Teresita church

42

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Detail of a shrine outside Santa Teresita 43

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The back side of the Antigua Aduana exhibition centre and Santa Teresita

44

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Rear elevation of gallery space at Antigua Aduana 45

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The back side of the Antigua Aduana exhibition space and Barrio Escalante

46

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Private house and studio by the railway line 47

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Parking lot by the railway line

48

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Buildings at tne side of the parking lot 49

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Barrio Escalante, facing east

50

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Mobile phone mast

51

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Surfaces, Plaza de Francia, Barrio Escalante

52

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Plaza de Francia

53

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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View north from the Plaza de Francia

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View from the Plaza de Francia towards the Santa Teresita church 55

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Plaza de Francia, Bariro Escalante

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Plaza de Francia

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IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Building site near the UCR campus

58

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Site in the early evening

59

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


UCR School of Architecture

60

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UCR School of Architecture, Exhibition Space 61

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


UCR School of Architecture, extension and original building

62

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UCR School of Architecture, extension 63

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


View of Curridabat and the hills to the east of San José

64

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The main road out east, passing through Curridabat 65

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Garden, Curridabat

66

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Garden, Curridabat

67

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


UCR School of Architecture Library

68

STADTBILDER

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UCR School of Architecture studios

69

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


UCR School of Architecture, Studios

70

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School’s out for summer

71

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


STADTBILDER

Foto-Coto

taught me that with the flick of a finger you

at just 18 years old, discovering the German

can catch a scene that can be remembered

127 mm camera.

Francisco Coto chronicled Costa Rica

many years later,”

One of his first subjects was his uncle,

over the course of most of the twentieth century. By chance, during my stay in the

Over

decades,

Leon Cortes (president between 1936

Coto documented the urban and rural

the

course

of

and 1940), whom Coto immortalised in his

landscapes,

and

public appearances, but also captured at

which means I am able to reproduce them

architecture of Costa Rica. Coto´s artistic

his most human. Coto photographed many

here – showing aspects of the place I could

journey began in 1942 with Doña Julia

celebrities, including John F. Kennedy in

not hope to show, and have been a great

Fernandez, wife of former president Leon

1963, but he was later known by generations

inspiration. He was born in Alajuela in 1924,

Cortes, who wanted to give a gift to the

of Costa Ricans as a portraitist.

and fell in love with photography as a boy,

president´s young nephew. She could not

An exhibtion at the National Museum in 2012

later saying, “my first click with a camera

have imagined the consequences of Coto,

brought together nearly 100 photographs

covering the period between 1940 and

career, including large-format cameras and

1990, some 50 of which, identify a number

instruments for developing, printing and

of political, social and economic transitions

retouching photographs. The methods and

for Costa Rica. The public could also see

tools bear witness to many technological

some of the first photographs by Coto

advances and massive transformations of

which are of great cultural significance for

photography which took place over his life.

the country itself. Also shown in the exhibit

The photos and instruments were declared

Cultura y Juventud. The exhibition devoted a section to a number of photographs donated by Costa Ricans that were taken at the photo portrait studio Foto Coto, he founded in 1947. The studio was on Avenida 3 until 1969 when it was moved to Barrio Aranjuez near Hospital Calderón Guardia.

were about 50 objects used by Coto over his

of cultural interest by the Ministerio de

portraits

The main ensemble of towers in the city centre, c.1965

72

city, an exhibition of his work was staged,

traditions,

five

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Crowds leave from Sunday Mass at the Cathedral Metroolitana, at the time of John F Kennedy’s visit in 1963 73

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Crowds at a football game, 1970

74

STADTBILDER

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75

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Boat at Puntarenas

76

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77

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Tourists at Volcan Irazu, 1964

78

STADTBILDER

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Tourists at Volcan Irazu

79

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


View out east over San José during the active phase of Volcan Irazu, 1964

80

STADTBILDER

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81

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Views out to the west from the National Museum

82

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View from the National Museum

83

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Water tanks within the MADC arts centre

84

STADTBILDER

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Walls of the contemporary arts centre complex 85

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Musuem for Contemporary Art and Design, interior

86

STADTBILDER

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Museum for Contemporary Art and Design 87

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Atlantic Station, approached from the west

88

STADTBILDER

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Atlantic Station, elevation

89

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The building of the Jotabequ advertising agency

90

STADTBILDER

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Car parking near the Calderon Guardia Hospital 91

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Near the Calderon Guardia Hospital, Barrio Aranjuez

92

STADTBILDER

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Empty lots near the hospital

93

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Main buildings of the Calderon Guardia Hospital

94

STADTBILDER

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Main building of the Calderon Guardia Hospital

95

IMAGES OF THE CITY

97 96

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Petrol station in the north west corner of the site

96

STADTBILDER

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View of the west street of the site

97

IMAGES OF THE CITY

98 99

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


View of the Sasso building, south of the railway lines

98

STADTBILDER

101 100

Scale 1:1000

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View towards the site from the theatre 99

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Typical houses, Barrio Escalante

100

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Parking lot, Barrio California

101

IMAGES OF THE CITY

103

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

102


Typical Barrio Escalante street

102

STADTBILDER

104

Scale 1:1000

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105


Barrio California / Escalante border 103

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Apartment building, Plaza de Francia

104

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105

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Disused structure beside a petrol station, Barrio California

106

STADTBILDER

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107

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Road repairs, downtown

108

STADTBILDER

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Detail, La Cathedral Metropolitana

109

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Lower volume of the Seguro Social building

110

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Detail view

111

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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STADTBILDER

Looking north from the Seguro Social building

112

Facing North

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN


113

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


STADTBILDER

Looking towards the site from the Seguro Social building

114

Facing East

Calderon Guardia Hospital

URBAN LIVING / STĂ„DTISCHES WOHNEN


115

IMAGES OF THE CITY

House of Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica

The National Museum, a former citadel

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


116

STADTBILDER

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San José roofscape

117

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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STADTBILDER

118

Facing East

House of Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN


119

IMAGES OF THE CITY

The National Museum, a former citadel

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


STADTBILDER

San José roofscape, from the Seguro Social building

120

Facing North

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN


121

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


STADTBILDER

122

Facing North

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN


View of downtown San José, looking North West

The site, made of five city blocks 123

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


STADTBILDER

124

Facing North

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN


125

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Showroom, Paseo Colon

126

STADTBILDER

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High-rise apartment building under construction near Paseo Colon / La Sabana park 127

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


STADTBILDER

128

Barrios Aranjuez & Escalante

Scale 1:5000

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN


Vacant lot currently on the site

129

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Detail of the front facade of the Antigua Aduana building

130

STADTBILDER

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Corner of the site, facing west

131

IMAGES OF THE CITY

125

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The university campus to the south of the site

132

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Building on the corner opposite the site

133

IMAGES OF THE CITY

127

126

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Sitreet north of the site

134

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View down the street along the western edge of the site block 135

IMAGES OF THE CITY

128

129

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


View of the south street of the site

136

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Roof line looking north, beside the site

137

IMAGES OF THE CITY

133 132

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


Private garden opposite the site

138

STADTBILDER

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View of the NW corner of the site

139

IMAGES OF THE CITY

135 134

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The wall surrounding the adjacent university campus

140

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Private houses opposite the site

141

IMAGES OF THE CITY

137

136

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


The northern edge of Barrio Aranjuez, towards the river

142

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143

IMAGES OF THE CITY

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


144

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The neighbourhood on the other side of the river 145

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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The neighbourhood north of Aranjuez

146

STADTBILDER

Scale 1:1000

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The sports centre in Barrio Aranjuez, where there is also a Saturday market 147

IMAGES OF THE CITY

Scale 1:1000

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


148

STADTBILDER

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The petrol station at the corner of Calle 21 and Avenida 9, facing West 149

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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Steel structures, from the corner of the site

150

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Santa Teresita, seen from the North

151

IMAGES OF THE CITY

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STADTBILDER

152

Map

10

11

14

19

12

42-3

13

18

44-6

26

21 22

36 41

20 15

URBAN LIVING / STÄDTISCHES WOHNEN

27 29 30 28

31 33 34


153

IMAGES OF THE CITY

25 24

16

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA


154

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IMAGES OF THE CITY

155

Epilogue

An early scene in San José. Pedestrian life overlaid on a larger scale of topography agriculture and as yet undeveloped woodland. Could we make such profound simplicity today, in this era, with the tools are our disposal. What exactly are our priorities?

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

Stadtbilder San Jose  

Images from the city of san jose costa rica