Vazio S/A

We are pleased to invite everyone to “Imaginary Cartography: The City and its Writings”, which began at Sesc Palladium (Belo Horizonte) last week, and of which we are proudly participating after the generous invitation of curators Mauricio Meirelles and Marconi Drummond. The exhibition is a contemporary look at the urban and literary history of Belo Horizonte. Based on the idea of “literary maps”, Cartography …, in the statement of the two curators,  “investigates the relations between concrete city and imaginary city, in a game of meanings that involves affirmations and absences, contaminations and refusals.”

And it goes on until July 8.
See also Sub-Arrudas, the project we are showing at Literary Cartographies.

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Benign Tumor

Originally published in the book History of the Void in Belo Horizonte (Carlos M. Teixeira, Cosac Naify, 1999), the text below depicts a reverse urban sprawl, where everything one day demolished would be recovered and embodied by the same city with the same greed of yore.

Editor: Alexandre Campos


Benign Tumor

“If the history of Belo Horizonte were a film, it could be summed up as a transformation of the void of a young city to the full spaces of a saturated city.  This project is an image of that film seen speeded up, but in  reverse (like the image one has with the rewind button of a VCR):  it is a retrogression in history which, paradoxically, points towards the better futures for the city.  Let us recapitulate the whole history of BH in a few minutes, so that the absurdity of the elimination of its voids becomes clearer.  If the “progress” of this city is identified with the slow occupation of its lots and parks, a retrogression means de-occupying full spaces and reinstalling empty spaces.  To unsmother the city center, to condense and connect the outlying neighborhoods efficiently, to imagine projects as mad as the densification of Belo Horizonte.  To return to the origins of the city.  To imagine, one more time, the freedom and the strength of the void.  Now, the urban zone will become a great Municipal Park, in a gesture of the “revenge of urbanism.” Like an enormous Central Park, which is at the same time a negation and a celebration of the city, the urban zone will come to be the nature we have at our disposal:  the nature of things that have escaped the artificiality of architecture.  The revenge:  inverse metastasis of that which has characterized the growth of Belo Horizonte.

“A benign tumor.  A stain of empty spaces contaminating the full ones.  A retrogression: a return to the beginning of history as a way of perceiving a healthier future.”

Nantou Playground

We are very proud to present our proposal for the Shenzhen / Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale: a playground as opportunity to install a fresh public use into an empty building in Nantou, an urban village in Shenzhen, China.

Like trying to mix water and oil, the challenge of the project lies in keeping something of the roughness and wild textures of an abandoned concrete frame with the magical and festive atmosphere of a playground. Besides proposing a public use in the private realm, its new slides will let Nantou’s children play right in the center of their neighbourhood — a hyper dense, compact informal settlement that lacks play areas.

With special acknowlegments to Meng Yan, Liu Xiaodu and Hou Hanru, curators of the Biennale.

+info: Nantou Playground


We’ve just exhumed some photos of the exhibition Em Directo (live), where we showcased the proposal Architectural Grafts and their embossed trunks. With curatorship by Paulo Miyada, the show circulated through some SESCs in Sao Paulo in 2011 and 2012.

+ info here

The Rogelio Salmona Award catalog has just been published by the R. Salmona Foundation in Bogota and includes our H3o park – one of the 20 Latin American projects selected to participate. To apply, the building must have the potential to improve the city’s public space, be built more than five years ago and demonstrate that it has “avenged” – that has triggered lasting structural changes.

+info: H3o

Mark no. 70

Dutch magazine Mark published an inteview with Carlos in its no. 70 issue; check it out on Mark’s website.
Photos: Gabriel Castro. Text: Ana Martins.

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We are very proud to know of the Pierre Vago Prize of the International Committee of Architectural Critics awarded to the book “Architecture and Nature”, by Abilio Guerra, at an event held in South Korea. Along with “Risk Space” (Otavio Leonidio) and “Ode to the Void” (Carlos Teixeira / Vazio S/A), the book integrates the first three releases of the recently inaugurated Nhamerica Platform, in partnership with Romano Guerra Publishing.
The international awards jury was formed by president Joseph Rykwert (USA/UK) and members Manuel Cuadra (Germany), Sengul Oymen Gur (Turkey), Xiangning Li (China) and Louise Noelle (Mexico); and are part of the events of the UIA 2017 World Architects Congress, held in Seoul.

More info:
Comité International des Critiques d’Architecture – CICA
Portal Vitruvius

Pop 10 Sofa

Pop 10 Sofa = 10×10 cm rebar mesh + 20mm jequitibá boards.
See also: Vazio S/A Furniture  and Pop 10 Armchair
Photos: Daniel Mansur/Estúdio Pixel

Forbidden Void

Ben Katchor, cartoon artist of the American magazine Metropolis, writes bizarre stories about design, architecture and behaviour. In the April 2009 edition, Marlon, a boy marked by childhood memories, grows up with a desire of owning a house with an absolutely impenetrable room. At 50, rich and psychotic, Marlon purchases an apartment with a salon that, despite of being furnished, would never be used…

1 comment | categoria[s]: News | tag[s]: , ,

The brief text below was originally written for “The Floor I Step On,” an inspiring Instagram page that became a bestselling book published by journalists Raíssa Pena and Paola Carvalho.

Palimpsest Square
Carlos M Teixeira

“Old house floors remind me of a theater play staged on a vacant lot many, many years ago, in 2001. It was not really a lot: a house on Sergipe street, in Belo Horizonte, had been demolished a few days ago, and then a group of actors took advantage of this brief period, when the house became a lot, to present a night show amid the palimpsests of walls and floors of the demolished house.

Directed by actress and producer Andrea Caruso, it was a one-act play presented on a very ephemeral occasion: days later, the palimpsests would be destroyed by a backhoe that took the last memories of the house. And unfortunately, more days later, the inevitable hedges that surround all the construction sites would turn that space, which was public for a few days, into a private land like any other.

The set of the spectacle was this unusual square made up of remains of walls and claddings, zigzag floorings and hydraulic tiles, stairway treads stamped on the neighboring wall, trees and bushes clutched in an imaginary backyard. It was melancholic and dreamy, but it also pointed to a future discussion that only now can be perceived as a demand from all of those who live in the capitals of Brazil: more and better public spaces, the claims for the conversion of private lots into squares, and a more balanced negotiation between the public and the private spheres in the country.

This ‘Palimpsest Square’ would certainly be better for the city than the big building that today stands on Sergipe street, just as it would also be better than the house that was demolished.”

The playground objects we proposed for a kindergarten that houses more than 1,000 children in Ribeirão das Neves (MG, Brazil) have their imagined forms as the translation of the movements and games they sponsor: ramps, nets, ladders and climbs here are a departure point to imagine other ways to slip, climb, hide, swing, descend, go up. They are also an economically viable alternative to traditional toys and are intended to be more durable and more thought-provoking than the products on the market.

In view of the enormous amount of children in the school, the project bets on a language of large pieces of colored concrete. Robust enough to withstand the intense use to which they will be subjected, they are at once playful and functional, poetic and rational, sculptural and constructive. An infrastructural playground.

+info: 1000 Kids

Among all the cities in the world, Shenzhen (China) probably has been the fastest growing in the last thirty years: neighboring Hong Kong in the Pearl River Delta, what was a village of 30,000 in 1980 is now a conurbation of 17 million inhabitants. In this overwhelming process of urbanization, little of its history has been spared, and that is why the urban village of Nantou was elected as the main site of the next UABB, or Bi-City Biennale of Shenzhen / Hong Kong. Curated by art critic Hou Hanrou and architects Meng Yan and Liu Xiaodu, this year the event has the title of “Cities, Grow in Difference”.

Nantou is an organic enclave with hundreds of 10 or 15-story illegal buildings. From an invitation from the curators, Vazio S/A proposed an intervention in this neighborhood, or more precisely a playground in an abandoned building right in the center of the village (see red square in the photo below).

The photographer Joachim Schmid has an essay on soccer fields in Brazil (The Field, 2010) that shows that, depending on the contingencies found, football doesn’t have to be practiced in a rectangle. More than a revelation that it can accommodate to topography and non-orthogonal limits, the photos show a fantastic solid/void contrast in the middle of a dense and irregular urban fabric – certainly a favela. And they convey the idea that even in an informal neighborhood where there is great pressure for new occupations, and even if the neighboring buildings have to lean shoulder to shoulder, balancing to keep the organic geometry of this Field free — even so, this unusual and magical void will always remain empty because of its obvious importance to all of those who use it.

Photo originally published in Pise a Grama # 3.
See also Joachim Schmid.

Novo Morar

NovoMorar is a platform that offers alternatives to the sameness of the current real estate products through buildings (and apartments) that prioritize the well-being of its residents, the smart economy and the city.
Novomorar is an initiative by Vazio S/A and Total Engenharia.
To know it, please visit

BsAs Bldg.

Buenos Aires building is the new project by Vazio S/A!
More information at

In a revealing essay about the future of the car, journalist Henry Grabar states that ”Large numbers of streets could be decommissioned and reused as promenades, parks, and sites for housing. Most downtown parking could also become obsolete. The average car is parked 95 percent of the time, and parking spots are required, at great cost, in housing, retail, and office construction.”

“(…) The Rocky Mountain Institute, a sustainability think tank in Boulder, Colorado, argues that Automated Vehicles will quickly challenge the private ownership model. In a report released in September, RMI calculates that self-driving cars will make automated taxi service in cities as cheap, per mile, as personal vehicle ownership. Jon Walker, a manager at RMI and co-author of the report, anticipates that autonomous vehicles’ superior use of road space—optimal acceleration and spacing, for example—will unleash a wave of urban transformation. Even if the number of cars on the road doubled, he argues, traffic would still move faster.”

in How will self-driving cars change cities?, Slate Daily Magazine, 25/10/2016

Continuing these arguments, the private parking will change, too. Maybe less people will own a car in the near future and therefore parking lots will have to be flexible spaces able to adapt to the future needs of driverless-car buildings and cities.

In our just finished project, the BsAs Building, we designed a parking level which is permeable, open and totally transparent vis-à-vis the sidewalk. The garage becomes a garden, a playground, a living room etc.

Anyway, irrespective of any futurology exercise, a green garage is certainly better than a gray garage.


“Architecture for non-architects” is a seminar organized by the coworking platform Guaja.
From August 23 to September 15, at 7:30 pm.
Tonight: round table with Fernando Maculan, Facundo Guerra, Ana Paula Baltazar and Carlos Teixeira (Vazio S/A).
Everyone is invited!

Can the stage of a theater – a space always flat and open – be compartmented and upright? Spiral Booths is a spiral staircase through which you can reach six micro-stages arranged at different levels of this staircase. Installed in a gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum, it was Vazio S/A’s answer to a challenge posed by the museum’s curator, Abraham Thomas: to house plays for up to six actors and to sponsor an architecture capable of proposing other ways of relating stage and audience, actors and theatergoers.

+ info: Spiral Booths