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TiCO RV Building

Terra e Tuma Associated Architects

São Paulo, Brazil

July 2021


Danilo Ribeiro Cardoso Terra


Gabriella Ornaghi


Rafael Lacerda Fiorotto


Pedro Kok


The objective was to design a mixed-use, comfortable and healthy building for its users; and to establish a friendly relationship with the street and the city.

The client's request was to present as many 1-bedroom residential units with approximately 35 m² as possible. A commercial and independent unit on the ground floor, next to the street and common areas for living and leisure.

Client and architects shared the option for the development of a pragmatic architectural approach, looking for to the most appropriate construction techniques and the spatial quality of all environments.

The definitions at each stage of the design process would be made taking into account all the factors presented in the Context Description, the agreed objectives and based on investigations and studies carried out for each architectural party that our language and repertoire deemed capable of meeting.


A 200 m² plot located in the Brooklin district of São Paulo, Brazil. A predominantly residential neighborhood, but surrounded by important avenues and corridors for transport, commerce and services.

For this, as in most architectural projects, we would have to deal with several factors. Among them, we highlight:

The complex laws and approval rules of the municipality and infrastructure concessionaires.

The location of the land in terms of its urban context; flow, accesses, use and morphology of the immediate surroundings.
Located on a street with intense car traffic and public transport, it connects two important avenues in the city in a single direction.
Although the neighborhood is predominantly residential, the street, as it is a collector road, is of mixed use, predominantly commercial.

The location in terms of its commercial aspect. What type of units and characteristics would have the greatest impact on the target audience, and in the region where they would be offered.

The location of the land in terms of its geographical aspect; topography, solar orientation, rainfall, temperature and prevailing winds.


The strategy of separating the building into two towers, juxtaposed to the lot’s lateral boundaries and offset by half a level one from the other, enabled the development of the project, taking into account all the factors previously presented and the creation of 12 housing units.

The same lot that previously housed a family, now 12 occupy it, in a comfortable and healthy way. The street, which in addition to the visual permeability with the access and internal courtyard of the complex, has a new commercial window that produces a more dynamic public space.

The size and scale of the project, suitable to the scale of the people, bring a desirable middle ground that is consistent with the morphology of the neighborhood. The scale also contributes to the internal dynamics of the complex and its residents, who due to a smaller group of families compared to large buildings, find in this configuration space for closer relationships and become more involved with the use and care of their own building.

The specification of handcrafted finishes, such as the pink tile, usually used on the floor of residences, was applied here on the facade and halls of the apartments, in addition to promoting an unusual appearance to the set, reducing the periodic maintenance of these areas.

The tropical climate and the scale of the building allow the circulations to be open, making the routes and landscapes more interesting and not alien to their surroundings.

We understand that this project contributes significantly to the debate on how to densify cities. From the Tico RV building, we can understand that the excessive verticalization that extends throughout São Paulo should not be the only possible densification model.

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