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.
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…)
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
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.
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.
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…)
Our ‘Other Territories’ exhibition is almost there!
The opening will be on April 27 at 11am and will run until June 2, at the Viaduto das Artes (Arts Overpass) in Belo Horizonte. There will be 26 works selected for the Urban Intervention Call on the stilts of Buritis neighborhood, as well as the promotion of debates about important issues related to the city, urban art and urban landscape, lighting, real estate architecture and much more.
Other Territories – the exhibition at Viaduto das Artes
Curator / Expography: Vazio S/A
Graphic design (OT folder): Marconi Drummond
Printing: Digital Artwork
Press Office: Blank Space
Support: IAB-MG, Viaduto das Artes, ASBAI
Sponsor: Banco Mercantil do Brasil
Viaduct of Arts
Av. Olinto Meireles, 45, Barreiro, 30620-330 Belo Horizonte
Other Territories – the international call
Organizers: Coletivo Aurora, Eduardo de Jesus, Vazio S/A
Concept: Vazio S/A
Jury: Bráulio Lara (ABB), Davide Sacconi, Eduardo de Jesus, Fracisca Caporali, Lúcia Koch, Marcos Franchini
Graphic Design: Marconi Drummond
Webdesign: Aline Coutinho
Legal Advisor: Fialho Salles Advogados
Press Office: Blank Space, Anagram
Support: Belotur, IAB-MG, Viaduto das Artes, ASBAI, Young Bird Plan
Sponsor: Banco Mercantil do Brasil
Published in 2017, Ode to the Void is sold out since March 2019; a new edition is due soon.
The texts in this book were previously published in the Vitruvius online journal by architect Carlos M Teixeira. The more incisive of them is “The True Nature of Brasilia,” a praise to the cerrado (a Brazilian savannah) and a dreamlike reverse way of seeing the city: Brasília did not conquer the cerrado – on the contrary, the cerrado has conquered the city (or it is about to conquer it). Despite the Pilot Plan’s superquadras begging for more architectural substance, what actually happens is that the voids are much more eloquent than the solids: it is a sparse city amid of a sea of grass that should be reconsidered by the potential of these ignored weeds, which are the insidious and real protagonists of that landscape.
The book is a joint publication of Romano Guerra Editora (São Paulo, Brazil) and Nhamerica Platform (Austin, United States) and is part of the Latin America: Thought series, coordinated by Abilio Guerra, Fernando Lara and Silvana Romano.
Pictured: “The True Nature of Brasilia”
The result of the OT Call was a great surprise for all of us who self-initiated this work: almost 300 registrations were received, and 101 proposals were submitted!
Since February 12, all the projects evaluated by the jury are showcased in the Call’s online Gallery.
The next step is the expography for the show in Viaduto das Artes, whose opening date will be announced soon. All selected proposals and mentions will be part of the exhibit; eventually other entries, too. Soon these teams will be contacted by email.
The second step will be the fundraising for the effective implementation of Phase 2 of the OT project.
We hope to meet all the participants of the Call and all other interested parties (from Buritis neighborhood, from Belo Horizonte, from other cities, from other countries) at the opening at Viaduto das Artes, when we will continue this discussion.
Image: Nuvem (Cloud), by Juliana Sicuro Corrêa, Vitor Garcez and Larissa Monteiro – one of the seven finalist proposals selected by the jury.
+info: Outros Territorios
Sobre-Aricanduva is a showcase of urban art through an installation to be carried out over the river Aricanduva – one of the main tributaries of the Tietê – in a stretch that will be covered by a temporary metal structure. It is in Penha, east side of São Paulo.
The main instrument of transformation of the project is the activation of one of the few natural elements of the city – more specifically, the Aricanduva – by means of the assembly of a temporary square over the beams of the canal, and of a suspended garden that will be watered with the Aricanduvas’s own water through a natural filtration process. And, in this way, seeks to awaken in the city’s residents a simple question: why not celebrate the river through an event right over it? Why not rediscover São Paulo’s rivers?
+ Info: Over-Aricanduva
Palacio das Artes is the largest cultural center of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Its facilities include three theaters, four art galleries, dance school, music school, and also a resident symphony orchestra and resident dance company. Opened in the 1970s, the building has since undergone several improvised interventions and the result is a characterless building with several thoughtless changes to the original design. Vazio S/A was invited to propose a refurbishment project which seeks the upgrading of existing elements without any built area increase. Its main change will be the opening of the building to the adjacent Municipal Park.
Arrudas canal: a dirty riverside imagined as an underground garden.