Vazio S/A

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It’s tomorrow!
“History of the corridor, history of the void”
Carlos’ lecture in Fortaleza as part of the lectures Architectural Project: Thought and Praxis.
CAU / Federal University of Ceará
07/20/2020, 9 am

Planting urban weeds: photos of the plantation used in Topographical Amnesias II – the set design for the play Nomads by theater company Armatrux.

More info here.






More info here.



With an official opening scheduled for early April, everything indicated that the coronavirus would postpone the 2020 Festival des Jardins Chaumont-sur-le-Loire until next year. But to the surprise of the Frenchmen, the Festival was opened suddenly on May 16, and among the gardens of the 2020 exhibition is our “Piro-Paisagem” made with trees from the Cerrado!

With an international reputation, Chaumont is “the world laboratory in the field of gardens and contemporary landscape creation”, and takes place on the premises of a castle built 500 years ago in the Loire Valley, a region in the interior of France listed by UNESCO and known for its splendid Renaissance castles.

In principle, our team would have to be in Chaumont in March to monitor the construction of the garden. In February, and after a long Brazil-France trip of more than 9,000 kilometers, the branches of the Cerrado arrived in Chaumont, waiting for the works in the castle’s maneuvering yard. What was our surprise when we received the news that the Chateau‘s production set up our garden kind of muted, to then announce the inauguration with all the gardens of 2020 in an almost adult state. (more…)

Our “Paysage de Feu” (Landscape of Fire), a garden that will be built on the occasion of the next Festival International des Jardins Chaumont-sur-Loire 2020, awaits the outcome of the coronavirus crisis. The garden will be assembled with twisted branches of trees from Cerrado, the savannah of Brazil’s hinterlands, and explores several issues related to Cerrado: the beauty of its gnarled trees, the furrowed bark of its trunks, its fragility as an ecosystem, the growing threat of livestock companies – and the necessary valorization of this neglected biome.

The pieces have already made a very long Brazil-France trip (more than 9,000 km!!!) and are now in a yard in the Loire Valley, waiting for the end of this imbroglio.

Below: branches of barbatimões and mandiocões-do-campo in front of Chaumont’s greenhouse, mar/2020



Back to 2014:
In a multidisplinary team that included our frequent partners MAch Arquitetos and BCMF Arquitetos, and also the graphic design office Hardy Design, the environmental engineering company Oreades, and the Italian architecture office Eurofiere S.p.A., Vazio S/A participated in the competition for the Brazilian Pavilion / Milan Expo 2015 (pictured).

The complete project is available at Fernando Maculan (Mach Architects) website.

Similar to some urban voids already described in this blog (see “Void possibilities: New York atypical lots” for example), in Berlin there are bizarre urban gaps that can be the object of an experimental occupation. In the GDR in the 1980s, the vacant lots in central Berlin were being developed with prefabricated buildings. Due to the rigid system of pre-fab construction applied, there were remaining areas between the orthogonal slab and the existing neighboring buildings, which were generally lined with false facades.

Interested in reverting the condition of these voids, the office Brandlhuber+ mapped 58 niches in the Berlin-Mitte district within its broader research for a better availability of residential units in the center. When designing them as “options lots”, B+ alludes to the potential for appropriation of these places of urban indeterminacy, as they have no relevance to the real estate market, and points out a discussion on the latent voids little explored by architects and local authorities.

More information: Brandlhuber+ website.


Vazio S/A started a partnership with the theater company Armatrux in 2001, when we worked together on the project Topographical Amnesias I, where the play Invent to Leonardo was staged. This rare convergence between theater, architecture, scenography and urbanism was repeated later with other companies in Brazil, including Teatro da Vertigem and Teatro Oficina, both from São Paulo. The brief text below was originally written for the Instagram profile “O Chão que Eu Piso”, and describes another show within this same convergence between theater and the city.

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 works began last December. More informtion here and here.




Vazio S/A now has an office in Porto! It is located in the historic center of the city, close to Mercado do Bolhão, and in a building rehabilitated by our colleagues of MeroOficina.

Vazio Arquitectura e Urbanismo Lda. / NIF 514.853.409
Rua Fernandes Tomás 539, sala 2.2, attic
Bolhão, Porto 4000-217
+351 912-746-616

Photo: Tiago Casanova

03/19/2020, Lecture Hall at UFMG School of Architecture.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Event canceled due to the coronavirus crisis !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the Lindo Vale building, another project by Vazio S/A in Porto. It is in the neighborhood of Paranhos, on the corner of R. Aliança and R. Monte Alegre, and close to the iconic  Casa da Musica. Still in process, the project will have nine apartments either with one, two or three bedrooms, all of which accessible and adapted for the disabled. The façade seeks to enhance the houses of the neighborhood streets, the volumetry explores cantilevers and setbacks, and the roof design is a smooth continuation of the neighbors’ roof.


Designed to house a new Vale Mining office in Pará, this new Vazio S/A project is inserted in a small clearing in the Carajás National Forest (Brazilian Amazon), seeking the least impact on the landscape. The metal roof defines a building that is both tropical and industrial, with generous openings and spaces between ceilings. The roof is staggered, allowing inter-water ventilation whenever possible and drawing a profile that gives the buiding its own character. The façades are shaded and, when necessary, protected with hollow cloths that filter the light, but not the breezes: they are metallic louvers that function as large steel shutters, sometimes arranged as horizontal lines, sometimes as vertical lines.

The project takes advantage of the immense possibilities of these permeable plans: they are the ingenious elements that we see in the modest constructions of North and Northeast Brazil, with designs that are often fanciful and naive, and that here define a fundamental membrane to dampen excessive light and heavy rain.

The external walls are recessed and protected, creating passively air-conditioned living areas. And they go only at mid-height, free and loose from the roof.

The windows of the offices are made of glass, always protected with the sun shade mechanism present in the metallic windshields, so that they can remain open in days of milder temperatures (up to 27 ° C), and even during heavy rains.

More info here.

Exhuming drawings from Vazio S/A archives: sketches of “Architectural Grafts”, 2008

More information here.



New drawing! This is a possible layout of our Ibirapuera Marquee on a Sunday morning. Here the marquee’s roof is the site for concerts, dancing, sun-tanning, yoga classes — whatever.

“We believe that the uncertainty and the uses of the marquee can be enhanced, and with few resources. Through a modular tubular staircase, its huge terrace would be occupied on specific situations, and then new views of the park, new public spaces and a new perception of their own marquee would be made possible.A ‘latent square’ would be discovered.”

More information here.




It’s almost done !, the construction of the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. Headquartered in New York and with 60 offices in 27 countries, this will be the first A&M in Belo Horizonte. Restricted to a small refurbishing budget, the project proposes few interventions but focuses on bare living areas, on materials that expose the building’s infrastructure, and a frugal and functional furniture.



We are happy to announce our participation in the upcoming Festival des Jardins in Chaumont-sur-Loire! The festival is “the world’s laboratory for gardens and contemporary landscaping,” and takes place in the Loire Valley, the region of France known for its Renaissance castles.
Titled Pyro-Paysage, our proposal explores several issues related to the Brazilian savannah called Cerrado: the beauty of its gnarled trees, the furrowed bark of its trunks, its fragility as an ecosystem, the growing threat of livestock companies – and the necessary valorization of a neglected biome that must be protected.

See also our Cerrado House



The corridor, that space connecting the parts of a building, is an architect’s nightmare. A floor plan that has long corridors is a less than efficient one. An office building with lots of circulation areas is a badly resolved construction. A long, dark and empty corridor is cause for horror vacui, a claustrophobic, anonymous, disconcerting space. Yet an apartment with many rooms and no corridors is an apartment optimized beyond any wasted space; it is, in a world where space is money, a “good” apartment.

Architects attending the real-estate market always struggle with the corridor, but Raphael and other pre-17th-century architects had their own solution to this problem: they designed enormous palaces, measuring 500, 1000 or 5000m2, without so much as a single corridor. Circulation area: 0%; functional area: 100%. That’s the ratio one finds in the floor plans of Renaissance palaces, with doors between each adjoining room, and the more doors the better.

Concepts today considered obvious such as comfort and privacy were not to be found in those palaces. To get to the last room you had to pass through all the others leading onto it, which meant a matrix of interconnected rooms. Alberti said that “it is convenient to open doorways in such a manner as they connect the highest possible number of parts in a building”, which proves that this far from unconsidered solution met with the theoretical approval of a great Renaissance intellectual. So we could arrive at a given room by different routes, as the whole construction was permeable to the numerous members of the family, as well as the staff and visitors, all of whom were obliged to pass through the other rooms that lay in their way. As a hallmark of good architectural design, the doors had to be aligned (enfilade) so as to afford an unbroken view from one end of the house to the other. (more…)