Thursday, June 11, 2015



As we had to talk about a pyramidal-shaped building, we chose this one, called "Helicoide" , that has a triangular pyramid shape. It is located in the capital of Venezuela, Caracas,  above a hill, between the parish of San Pedro and the parish of San Agustín. It was built by the architects Pedro Neuberger, Dirk Bornhorst and Jorge Romero Gutiérrez. Now, it is used for the headquarters of the SEBIN -Bolivarian Intelligence Service-. 

Name: Helicoide

Location: Caracas, Venezuela

Architects: Pedro Neuberger, Dirk Bornhorst and Jorge Romero Gutiérrez.

Chronology of its construction: 1956-1982 (26 years)


Total surface area: 101,940 m²
Constructed surface area: 77,748 m²
Floors: seven

Architect's biography:

Dirk Bornhorst:
He was born in Lübeck in 1927. He studied Architecture in Venazuela in 1951. He has got several condecorations for cultural and universitary activities in combination with his works, between others : The Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The other two architects weren't very famous, so we couldn't find any other information abuot them.

History of building:

Its construction was undertaken by a private company in 1956, during the gobernment of the president Marcos Pérez Jiménez. The previous idea included a shopping thentre, an art gallery, a luxury hotel, a park, a club for the owners and a theatre on the top. The works stopped in 1961 because of the low budget, and in 1965 they tried to resume them in order to finish the construction in 1967, including a private aerodrome, but they didn't finished in time. In 1982, they concluded the aluminium dome on the top. Since 1984, they installed some State's organisms, like the Direction of the Intelligence and Preservation Services. Because of this, the dome was seriously affected by a bombardment in November of 1992, in a coup d'état. Then, the dome was repared. Since 2010, a part of the building works as the headquarters of the National Experimental University of Security.

Structure and materials:
The structure of the building is made of reinforced concrete, steel and glass. It has seven floors, and there is a geodesic dome made of aluminium on top of the building. You can see it on the images below. The peculiarity of this construction is that you need to drive your car till the top of the building using a ramp, to get into it from the higher level. It is like an spiral. They call it the "tropical Tower of Babel", because of its apperance.

I think that this is a fascinating building, with an amazing and fresh structure. At first, I thought  that it was a bit strange, but then I realized that it was very modern, innovative and creative; and really different from the rest of buildings we can see nowadays. I hadn't seen anything like this before. Even though it has a huge size, it is very well-balanced, and everything seems to be perfectly distributed.

Some images and drawings:

Carlos' drawing
Lucia's drawing

By: Carlos Ménguez Hernandez, Lucía del Riego Nozal and Javier Gurpegui Güevea


  1. That´s right. I don´t understand why you abuse of the "copy and paste" but on another hand, drawings are so beautiful...Javier, where are yours?

  2. We have revised the written work, and now i think it is better.