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2016 MCHAP

Studio Madalena

Apiacas Arquitetos

São Paulo, Brazil

February 2014


Apiacás Arquitetos


CCT Engenharia (Structural Project) VWF Fundações (Foundation Project) Apiacas Arquitetos ( Lighting Project) Apiacas Arquitetos (Eletrical Project) Apiacas Arquitetos (Hydraulic Project) Apiacas Arquitetos ( Interior Project) Apiacas Arquitetos (Landscape Project) Apiacas Arquitetos (Acoustic Project) Apiacas Arquitetos (Roof Project) Apiacas Arquitetos (Window Frame Project)


Sergio Antunes Pereira


Leonardo Finotti Lauro Rocha


The construction had the available budget as the main premise. To this end, we developed the project exploring a traditional element of Brazilian civil construction: a concrete panel with metal structures originally created to accelerate the construction of slabs since it works as a way of concreting that only needs shorings on site. What we developed were double concrete panels, in this case hollow, which work as a sort of standard/ I beam, made of both concrete and iron. Each panel, once built, could be used for slab and cladding, with no need for liquid concrete. The advantages were many: more agility on the construction site – the suspended volume was built within a month – less waste, a dry site, and a substancially lighter foundation and superstructure. Therefore the construction was adapted to the necessity of each situation. The foundation was done with conventional concrete structure becoming a wall preconditioned to function as land consolidation. Massive concrete panels were interspersed with hollow panels; the massive ones prevailed in situations of contact with the soil, and in the slabs which conform the access square. At first a limiting for this project, the budget condition motivated us to investigate new constructive alternatives, including all values associated with the qualities of a new built work for the city, regardless of its program.


The project's main intention was to create a square on the ground floor, conformed by the extension of the promenade, also to preserve the view of the existing landscape: in the foreground, consisting of one or two storey houses, and in the background, high-rise buildings marking the occupation feature of the Pinheiros neighbourhood. Taking advantage of the original topography, this square-belvedere has reaffirmed the vocation of the Vila Madalena neighbourhood as "possessing/providing" various promenade situations. The program required by the customer contemplated two completely distinct programs: a space dedicated to housing and another to work. As there was not a predefinition of these spaces, we had the opportunity to appropriate the land at the maximum capacity permitted by the legislation. Therefore, the building was developed in two independent volumes below and above the square, each one with completely distinct functions, maintaining the level of the street unobstructe. The land originally had a steep slope, and in order to enable the integration of its ground floor with the promenade, a built foundation was proposed to reconfigure the topography. This foundation is organized into two spaces at the same level, connected by courtyards accompanying the sloping land. The vertical circulation is strategically installed on one side of the building. An element capable of transiting between two opposite situations without obstructing the external void or the spaces built internally. Suspended by pilotis, the second volume is composed by two floors with free plans - common feature throughout the project - providing flexibility in the appropriation through the spaces by the users.


This work was thought to attend all requests of a cliente who had the intention of working and living in the same place. This led to the creation of a project that had two diferent intentions. As a result it was possible to reveal the desired “window” to the landscape. With the completion of the building, the client received some offers to rent the property. One of them unrefusable... that provided him other means of financial profitability. As the client owns two other properties next to the building , this situation – although not planned – should enable new projects for his pieces of land, which turned out to be a very interesting business for him. Today the Studio Madalena is being used as an advertisement studio, thus meeting the outlined expectations. We believe the concept that was adopted in the project may have awaken people who live in this neighbourhood, and in this city, to new ways of occupying a piece of land; and that it is possible to recover geografic virtues in the urban context, regardless of the use/program or the type of investment (either private or public). Furthermore we believe that a civil dialogue happens when we manage to exchange values, or in the words of a late brazilian architect and professor, who always reminded us of the obligation to act as a promoter of urban pleasantries.

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