The Bridge Over the Lake: Spanning Across Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela


  • Hannia Gómez
  • Rino Montiel




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


The General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge spanning over Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela (1958–1962), designed by Ing. Professor Riccardo Morandi, a masterpiece of Modern engineering, is now a Modern Landmark at Risk. The remarkable and little known story of the construction of this structure “could not be accomplished by a handful of men. From planning to financing, from design to construction, a great number of Venezuelan and European engineers worked jointly in Wiesbaden, Caracas, Rome, Maracaibo, Zürich, Paris, and Lisbon. In this way, one of the most outstanding structures of our time was erected within the stipulated - and brief construction time.”

How to Cite

Gómez, H., & Montiel, R. (2011). The Bridge Over the Lake: Spanning Across Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Docomomo Journal, (45), 22–29.




Author Biographies

Hannia Gómez

President/founder of the Caracas–based foundations Centro de la Ciudad and Fundación de la Memoria Urbana. She studied Architecture at the FAU Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and Urban Design at the GSAPP Columbia University in New York City. She is author of the books El Cerrito: Gio Ponti’s masterpiece in Caracas (2009) and Gego, Architect (2007), and of numerous texts dealing with architectural and urban culture. A writer, architecture critic and curator, she is also founder and Vice president of the Venezuelan Chapter of docomomo.

Rino Montiel

Civil Engineer and a MS in Business Administration and Project Management from the Universidad del Zulia and the Universidad Rafael Urdaneta, Maracaibo. He worked for twenty–one years at PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela S.A). For a four–year period he was Director of the Bridge over Lake Maracaibo. He currently works with the Government of Zulia State.


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