Monday, April 7, 2014

Dominican Republic Architecture: Part Dos

Josh Fowler here,
Today I would like to discuss the rest of my recent trip to the Dominican Republic speaking specifically about the architecture and the architectural experiences I encountered.

 I had left off with the specific projects that us [mostly] architecture students where working on. That being said I also have a pet peeve about some of the people on the trip, but I'll get to that later. So, after the overlook, trusses, drain, and other various work was done, we experienced what the Dominican Republic had to offer, architecturally speaking. We spent one afternoon at a famous waterfall near where we were working,
And while the point of going to this location was not so much to see the waterfall as it was to speak with the Brigada Verde, which was a youth environmental club consisting of children of various ages chipping in to contribute to environmentally based activities.
On the way to and from the waterfall and talk, there some very interesting rope bridges which would shake the most confident person…literally. While the engineering of the bridges where interesting, only a few people at a time were allowed to cross the bridge and the planks supporting you where constructed with old pieces of wood, some barely connected. The only confidence booster in the construction of the bridge lies in the steel cable "ropes" suspending the planks . If you have ever seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, you may recognize a similar type of bridge in the scene where Indy, Short-round, and Willie are surrounded on the rope bridge. So not so far off from that.

Ok so the height above the rocks and the river were not nearly as high in the movie, but 15-20 feet is still pretty high when on a rickety wooden bridge.
 Another subject I had, until this point, not mentioned was the kinds of buildings we saw on the way to the places where we worked and visited. Some areas and house beautiful and large…

Some areas and buildings where a little more run down…

And some area's vernacular was simply interesting…

And some things are just universal,
it almost  seems like China is slowly trying to take over the world, just kidding but interesting to see

 Most of the materials used in construction in the D.R. seemed to consist of wood, concrete, brick, and various metals for roofing, rebar, and gating. The gating on the houses and buildings where beautifully designed and curved elegantly.

 And one of the last and one of my favorite photos because it seems to capture an urban spirit of the Dominican Republic.
 Note: All images by Author

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