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São Paulo-Morumbi Station

23 SUL [23 Graus Sul Arquitetura Ltda]

São Paulo, Brazil

October 2018


Gabriel Manzi, Ivo Magaldi, Luis Pompeo Martins, Luiz Ricardo Araújo Florence, Moreno Zaidan Garcia, Tiago Oakley; former partners (co-authors): André Sant´Anna da Silva, Lucas Girard, Rafael Urano Frajndlich


Consórcio HNL - José Mauro Moreira da Rocha (General direction and main technical responsibility), Augusto Matsushita and Maria do Carmo Setti (Technical and administrative coordination of the contract), Ykuyo Akamine and Joaquim da Silva Júnior (technical co-responsibility) Tatiana Otsubo, Eugênio Cunha, Bernardo Golebiowski, Eduardo Souza, Alexandre Zuppolini, Sérgio Assumpção, Débora Targas, Douglas Villibor (engeneering team members); Architetural team members - Anelise Bertolini, Raisa Drumond and João Miguel Silva (architect), Jihana Nassif, Liene Batista, Lucas Thomé, Pedro Pereira, Guilherme Pardini (interns); Klara Kaiser (Landscaping co-author); SBP – Schlaich Bergermann Partner (Roofing Metal Structure); Ambiental Consultoria (Thermal Comfort Consulting)


Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo - METRO-SP


Pedro Kok


A remarkable flat translucent surface organizes all the design of the ground level plan, supported by slender metallic columns and concrete walls. It is this roof that brings unity to different – and sometimes opposite – areas and functionalities, providing to the ground floor and overall building a clear degree of character – a not-so-common feat for underground structure with little to expose at street level. A bus station, the entrance for the subway platform and a set of technical areas share the ground level harmoniously. At the same time, most of its façades are basically non-existent, which not only provides a generous reception for commuters and other visitors from several directions, but also gives to users in the inside a panoptical view of the urban landscape.
The roof is a combination of delicate metallic beams (38 centimeters high) with square pieces of glass, covered by silk-screen layers of sunlight protection and various levels of transparency. The intent of such lightweight and white-painted structure was to soothe the pre-existent unfriendly environment. In the bus station area, it provides quality of natural light in almost all the work hours. The fume can find its way out of the roof by the overhead openings on the projection of the internal streets.
Also, the alignment of the beam grid is intentionally other from the concrete walls. This intentional break of orthogonality provides even more lightness to the structure, and also organizes the overall shape of the design.


São Paulo, the largest metropolis in South America, is both widespread over the landscape and densely populated. A crowd larger than the population of Uruguay commutes everyday through its system of roads, transportation corridors and metropolitan railways,
More than a simple piece of transportation infrastructure, the São Paulo – Morumbi metro station is a point of intermodal connection within the vicinities of the SPFC Stadium and other relevant urban references. Pedestrians, bikers and commuters walk daily through this place, either to start or end a trip across the city, or to transfer between bus services and railway.
The architectural concept of the station reflects the arrangement of the pendular movements that came out of the intersection between the local demands and metropolitan flows of the railway network. In a harsh environment for pedestrians, amid large, busy and heavy-loaded roads, full with truck and bus movement, the strategic disposition of vertical concrete planes channels the human flows, not only sheltering them from an aggressive landscape but also creating a generous space where one can easily find the way to the platforms, the urban bus station, or simply rest under an enjoyable shade. More like a shaded public square than a building, the commuters enter through openings larger than a simple set of doors located at the main pedestrian crosswalk. It departs from the traditional cave-like aspect of the heritage of underground stations and allows the filtered sunlight to go as deep as possible to the lower levels.


Over 54 thousand commuters go under the glass roof of the station everyday, either from the subway platform, or the bus terminal. During a normal sunny day, the space under the shading roof of glass and metallic grid stands out from the rest of the urban environment. Be for the quality of the light under this roof, be for the sheer openness of the internal perspectives – almost no walls – the architectural concept brought not only an experience to the senses but also guaranteed the needed universal accessibility, mandatory for such public spaces of transportation facilities. In a more subject insight of the city’s matters, the role of such infrastructure in the lives of any urban dweller has become one of the most relevant public spaces of gathering. A place such as metro station represents an unavoidable ritual carried out by a large part of the urban population. Being sensitive to this phenomenon, the design approach led to bringing quality to even the most mundane activities. Even if a brief moment, going up the escalators from the lower levels feels like flowing through the sunlight and realizing what time of the day is now, by the angle of the several rectangles cast on the concrete walls. By resting on a bench on the bus platform, one can perceive time passing by as the shades shift from one place to another. At its entrances, one can stop by a local street food vendor, or other daily life activities embraced by the public plaza.

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