La Puntilla


San Juan, Puerto Rico

ARQPOLI - School of Architecture


Master Plan & Programs Interventions

La Puntilla, Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico

La Puntilla is a site depleted of activity-oriented programs, as well as activity and history in Old San Juan. Although it is and extramural location just at the feet of the old wall and a land gained over the Bay of San Juan, it is a part of the whole urban environment; a place in which to go out for a walk to the Paseo de la Princesa that borders the side of the inlet of San Juan surrounded by the ocean and the bay.

In this part reclaimed from the sea, there are historical buildings such as the Arsenal (magnificent colonial place) government buildings of a military character or exclusive control of the Bay. Also, rehailitated housing-right next to the lot at the heart of competition - take in an outdoor parking without any conditioning in its development, before the lot conversion, social housing covered its extension, now only large trees remind us that once it was inhabilitated.

The goal of the competition is precisely to think and implement programs that activate and resolve both the environment as well as its understanding within the urban fabric; both the generation of activity as well as the resolution of that emptiness will contribute to the understanding of the site as well as to complete the entirety of the urban unity of Old San Juan.

Master Plan will consider:

Total surface area for La Puntilla.

Public spaces for locals and tourists.

Sustainable approaches at the site.


1) Public parking for 1,000 cars; multi-story building(s) or underground

2) Affordable housing for 1,200 persons.

a) 300 apartments in a mixed programs of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms.

suggested distribution (in units):

* 35%_1 bedroom (55m2 or 600sq.ft.)

* 50%_2 bedroom (75m2 or 800 sq.ft.)

* 15%_3 bedroom (93m2 or 1,000sq.ft,)

b) Commercial space (cafe, restaurants, etc.)

3) Ateliers for artists and/or craftsmen and exhibition space should be provided.

a) Surface Area range : between 1,000 and 3,000m2

4) Folklore and Art & Craft Center

a) Surface Area range : 2,000m2

5) Polyvalent Theater

a) Dance and Music (for instance, Gibaro de Puerto Rico show)

b) Capacity : 500 seats

c) Area : 1,000 - 1,500m2

Master Plan should consider:

Accessible connection to the Old city (upper city)

Detailed area should focus:

Detailed development area has to mix uses of the programs.

The design of the public space should be addressed to the detailed development area.

Students will be free to choose the way of arrangement of the programs areas.