Vazio S/A

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.



Swimming pools usually serve as a decorative element, as a symbol of social status, as a representation of the hedonist pleasures that only a dip in the water can give us. But the pool is rarely taken as a plastic or formal element in architecture. Starting from two projects by Vazio S/A whose main element is the pool – the Aalborg Acqua Centre and the Cerrado House, – the sketches below pose a simple question: what if the pools were the only element of an imaginary building ???


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…)

Sorry, this entry is only available in Português.

CBM Headquarters

New project online! Construtora Barbosa Mello’s new headquarters is an open office whose main element is a skylight that provides plenty of natural light, which allowed a highlight to the landscaping. Palm trees, cyclanthus, and golden pothos constrict and demarcate continuous rooms, artificial light is balanced with daylight, and living areas are defined by green areas.

More information here.

Photos: Gustavo Xavier, Daniel Mansur


Porto Building

This is our first project in Porto, Portugal. The Lindo Vale Building has six compact apartments, facades designed from a reading of the traditional architecture of the city, and most importantly in an apartment: spaces with optimized layouts, backyard, terrace, mansards and plenty of natural light.

More info here.

A sea of prayers

New drawing! This is a possible layout of our Dubai Creek Mosque (or Hypostyle Mosque) on a Friday, the main prayer day for Muslims. The mosque has terraces, gardens, four sloping minarets and (of course) water bodies for the ablution ritual.

More information here.


Casa Pampulha

New project online! Casa Pampulha is a house designed by architect Zanine Caldas in the 1970s and converted into an art collection gallery. Apparently an architect of neo-colonial houses with no identity, Zanine was actually an author who knew how to update the language of Brazilian colonialism with features typical of modernist architecture and the traditional architecture of Japan. Hence the facades with sophisticated modulations of glass panels, the volumetric games marked by voids X solids, the contrast between weight and lightness, and an architecture where the spaces are clearly defined using the wooden structure as a starting point.

More information about our exhibition design for Casa Pampulha here.

Fotos: Daniel Mansur


Few spaces are as striking as those under the Third Mainland Bridge. But this board has something very particular: it is only 400 meters away from Makoko, the floating slum that has made headlines with the Makoko Floating School, designed by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyeme. Now, can Makoko’s future be in services installed under this bridge?



Makoko is in downtown Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, which is now the most populous country in Africa. Lagos has 14 million inhabitants and will have much more: the country is growing at a rate of 3.2% per year, which leads to a population projection of 400 million Nigerians in 2050.

In the 2000s Lagos was the favorite of informal urbanism theorists, and it was on this wave that OMA’s research on Lagos appeared in the book Mutations (2000), and the volume Under Siege: Four African Cities (2002) was published as a preparatory study for Kassel’s Documenta in its 11th edition. But the favela was still unknown in the small world of Western art and architecture until 2013, when talented Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyeme achieved a sudden international recognition with his floating school in the shape of a triangular prism.
Coming from a continent that rarely emits signals in the international architectural media, it was news loaded with optimism and also very timely: just before, the Lagos Stake task force had demolished part of the “illegal” houses of Makoko, in a incident in 2012 that demonstrated the vulnerability of the community vis-à-vis the institutions of the city. (more…)

Other Territories will be on show up to May 31 at Viaduto das Artes (Arts Overpass)!
+info at