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Shakira Builds A Canopy Of “Trees” In A Blighted Colombian Suburb

Sponsored by the Colombian pop star’s Barefoot Foundation, the structure is a colorful, protective awning for kids playing below.

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It may look like a grove of trees snatched from a space-age video game, but it’s actually a canopy for kids playing on the court beneath. Designed by Giancarlo Mazzanti, the Bucky-esque structure was sponsored by the Barefoot Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the hip-shaking pop diva Shakira.

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That’s right, Shakira’s responsible for this uplifting piece of architecture planted in Altos de Cazucá, a desperately poor suburb of Bogotá where about 40% of the population have been displaced by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Called Bosques de la Esperanza, the project is a cluster of dodecahedrons constructed from wire mesh and translucent green tiles and supported by tilted steel poles. During the day, the canopy filters the sun’s rays; at night, embedded lights illuminate the field. At all hours, it stands as a refuge from its bleak surroundings and a beacon for better times.

About the author

A former editor at such publications as WIRED, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company, Belinda Lanks has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, Interior Design, and ARTnews.

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