Skeleton Observatory

Study of abandoned urban structures


← back to informations


About the project Edit

Founded in 1999, Coloco is a French architecture group with an interest in locating and acquiring ownership of abandoned structures or skeletons. Coloco proposes to reintroduce the abandoned urban architectural structures into spaces where people develop their own housing. The skeletal remains of the buildings are vertical infrastructures that can accommodate any type of program. Coloco encourages temporary and permanent conversions of these skeletons as a housing strategy.

The first skeleton building experience dates back to the discovery of a building nicknamed "O Esqueleto" by residents of the Gloria neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro. When a skeletal structure has been abandoned for years, people-builders construct their own apartments themselves. From this need, they have developed an involuntary collaboration between the construction industry and self-constructing, which is being seen as a path for new housing and economic participation in these dense urban centres.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Coloco works on the conviction that there is no one solution to housing problems, but experiences to be learned and acted upon. The group is working to optimize the construction process by building a habitat that society can accept as an alternative for the diversification of housing solutions.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The skeletons could very well be seen as a precursor to a construction method to be developed. Building sites frozen in time are managed by the collective Coloco through collaborative citizen participation that allows people to gradually "finish" the building to settle and live.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Coloco also seeks to continue building a network for locating, diagnosing and monitoring skeletons around the world - to disseminate and develop these projects. The skeleton design from the buildings may in fact be employed in other cities around the world, where the skeletons of buildings are haunting the urban landscapes: unfinished office towers, construction sites left fallow, abortive buildings due to problems regarding municipal approvals or contractor mismanagement, buildings damaged by war or earthquakes, etc.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Project Community

4 fans and 0 members

Join the team

You find this project inspiring ?



This project has no known partners.