Vazio S/A


Hong Kong’s “dragon gates” are a series of skyscraper gaps that allow dragons to fly from mountains to sea through gigantic residential high-rises. In a city where the cost of a flat’s square meter can reach more than US$ 35.000, these tycoon voids are both capitalist and premodern.

From Its Mouth Came to River of High End Residential Appliances (Jon Wang, 2018) is a short film where the narrator relates his personal involvement with geomancy, remote-selves, and therianthropy (the mythical ability to change forms) in Hong Kong. And it is also a study of the ambiguity of real state architecture since, in some rare cases, it can agree and disagree, acquiesce and denounce, be an accomplice and betrayer of the hegemonic policies of the housing market.

It has long been said that these rectangular gateways obey the purposes of feng shui, the ancient Chinese system that calls happiness and fortune through the environment of an individual. Such openings would act as a portal to the monsters that live in the forests just behind the towers – blocking the dragons’ path to the waters of Hong Hong Bay could bring unhappiness to the residents of those colossi.

Now, are these such generous voids really for dragons?

From Its Mouth Came to River of High End Residential Appliances – Vimeo link

Other Territories


Vazio S/A, Coletivo Aurora and Eduardo de Jesus have launched the open competition Outros Territórios – International Call for Urban Intervention.

Outros Territórios (Other Territories) is a suite of ephemeral interventions proposed for a hilly neighborhood in Belo Horizonte: Buritis. The plan envisages an instantaneous transformation of the landscape through the simultaneous occupation of the many stilt systems propping up the hillside buildings.

The array of forgotten spaces, ignored for their unsightly strangeness, will be infused with city life through an event that posits an open field of study: the latent possibilities in the existing city. This will be an opportunity to test new ideas, exchange experiences and awaken sensibilities; a way of showing that modest interventions with limited resources can generate lasting change (whether material or institutional) and become instruments through which to devise alternative solutions for the urban recomposition of such a frayed urban fabric as Belo Horizonte’s. Video projections, light art, plays, horticulture, landscape interventions, paintings, objects, ephemeral constructions and extreme sports are just some of the many possible ways these spaces could be occupied.

The interventions will be chosen through a public, international open call for projects and the selected ideas will comprise an exhibition at the left-field venue Viaduto das Artes (Arts Underpass)—Phase I.

Phase II of Other Territories will execute a number of the projects selected during Phase I and organize a free itinerary for visiting the executed works. The idea is to configure a circuit for debate on issues pertaining to the city, explore interfaces between architecture, the visual arts, public lighting and the cityscape, and problematize city management, environmental and architectonic liabilities, urban voids and the real-estate market.

Proponents can register online at any time until close of registration on 22 of January 2019.

Release of the results will be on 29 of January 2019.

Opening of the exhibition will be on March 2019.

More information at the website




More information in this link .

It’s tomorrow! Opening lecture by Daila at the international symposium “The Urban Space and its [Re] Significance” at CAU-Uniube, Uberaba, Brazil.

We are happy with the results of the Tomie Ohtake/Akzo Nobel Prize! The exhibition with the finalist projects was inaugurated last week and remains until September 23 at the Tomie Ohtake Institute in São Paulo. Our Cerrado House was awarded 3rd place! Among the other winners, who highly honor our placement, are Hector Viglecca and Paulo M da Rocha/MMBB.
Here are some images of the exhibition.

Photos: Ricardo Miyada


There is in Porto an unexplored and expectant world: the so-called secret gardens inside its blocks. An obscure mark of the urban fabric of this city, such urban voids are even more surprising given the location of several of them right in the Center, especially in the historic neighborhoods of Santo Ildefonso and Cedofeita. That is, Porto has hidden and ignored spaces in regions where there is much urban infrastructure and in blocks that have cultural, environmental and architectural values totally unknown even by the portuesenses.
Raising, exploring and cataloging the current state of these inner backyards is a proposal that was presented by Vazio S/A to the City Hall in partnership with the Porto architects Pedro Barata de Castro and Pedro Silva (Anarchlab). The photos below were made during a concert by the Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva in one of these voids as part of the jazz festival Porta Jazz.

In 2017, the mayor of Paris convened the international competition Reinventer Paris, in which architects and developers were encouraged to propose solutions for infrastructures that are not very visible, such as spaces under overpasses, underutilized underground parking lots, reservoirs, and disused subway stations. The latent possibilities of these infrastructures will be revealed to propose a range of public equipments to be installed in the 34 urban voids that compose the contest.

It is a proposal in tune with the approach that Vazio S/A has been researching since 2001: urban activations that start from an existence, from a trouvé object that can have its condition leveraged through interventions that necessarily accept that condition.

Formed by consorcia of architectural firms and developers, the winning entries of Reinventer Paris will be announced shortly.


The images below are two examples of what can be done with urban voids. The first is a mosaic of photos of several overpasses along the East West Expressway in Belo Horizonte and was done during our research Under the Expressway, held many years ago in partnership with the Integration Office of PUC-MG and sponsored by the Ministry of Cities.

The second is a current photo of Viaduto das Artes, an amazing multidisciplinary cultural space located in Barreiro, also in Belo Horizonte. Installed under an overpass at Av. Olinto Meireles, it is a cultural center where the exhibition Recortes, which features engravings by artists Frans Krajcberg and Fayga Ostrower, among others, is on display.
The exhibition is on until 17 August.

Tomie Ohtake Award!

The Cerrado House is one of the finalists of the Architecture Prize Tomie Ohtake — an award celebrating contemporary Brazilian built architecture.

An exhibition with the 13 finalist works will open in September at the Tomie Ohtake Cultural Center in São Paulo. The other finalists are Bloco Architects, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and Brasil Arquitetura, among others.

The online journal Vitruvius and the co-working  platform Guaja have just published the article “Cities within the City”, where we review the last Shenzhen Hong Kong Architecture and Urbanism Bi-City Biennale, and our participation in the event with the proposal Nantou Playground. The English version was published by the website e-architect.

As evinced by its title, this theatre play by Teatro da Vertigem involves a kilometre-long trek around Bom Retiro – a downtown São Paulo neighbourhood known for its sweatshops, Korean grocery stores, Arabian and Jewish restaurants, womenswear and mannequin factories, Bolivian seamstresses, “Cracolandia” (Crackland) etc. The sketches below are part of the proposals of the art direction by Vazio S/A, where the occupation of the streets in the route is invested with barricades made of “mannequins-carts”.

+ Info: Bom Retiro 958m


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 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 Imaginary Cartographies.

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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