The dizzying spiral structure in central Caracas was conceived in the 1950s as a monument to a nations confidence but now its crumbling shell houses a notorious political prison. Is El Helicoide a metaphor for modern Venezuela?
Spiralling up a hill in the heart of Caracas is a playful, ambitious building that once embodied Venezuelas dreams of modernity, power and influence, and was fted by Salvador Dal and Pablo Neruda.
Today, its crumbling concrete shell houses the headquarters of Venezuelas intelligence services and the countrys most notorious political prison. It has become a symbol of national decay, bankrupt dreams and faltering democracy.
Slums on the surrounding slopes obscure the aging Buckminster Fuller dome that tops its elegant coils, but the building can still be seen from around the capital, and casts a long shadow of fear.