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H+F Architects


September 2022


Pablo Hereñú (Leading Architect), Eduardo Ferroni (Leading Architect)


Olympio Augusto Ribeiro (Restoration Consultant), Olympio Augusto Ribeiro (Restoration Consultant), Anna Beatriz Ayroza Galvão (Restoration Consultant), Heloisa Maringone (Structural Designer)


Rosaria Ono – Ipiranga Museum Director


Nelson Kon Produção Fotográfica


The set of proposed interventions did not want to be highlighted. The general objective was not to impose the face of the new, but to reveal in a new way what was already there, through articulations, spatial arrangements, and paths that the interventions discreetly provide.

The emphasis on the new elements does not lie in their appearance, but in their performance, in what they can promote, in their effectiveness in dynamizing and enhancing the virtues of pre-existences.

The first layer of actions focused on works to recover the physical integrity and rehabilitation/modernization of the Monument Building, in addition to the creation of a new, complementary, and integrated sector, containing a large part of the services and areas necessary for the full functioning of a contemporary museum.

The museum’s addition was not conceived as an annex or appendix, but as an underground extension of the pre-existing building which, in turn, opens the possibility of connecting to the park in a more powerful way and configures a new access terrace, which extends through the gardens all the way to Patriotas Street.

The design strategies considered the need to reduce operation and maintenance costs, offer optimal safety and accessibility conditions and create a contemporary museum experience without distorting the qualities of the experience crystallized in the population's memory.


The Ipiranga Museum is a monument built at the end of the 19th century, between 1885 and 1890, to celebrate the origin of the nation in the site where independence was proclaimed in 1822.

The original building, designed by the Italian Tommaso Gaudenzio Bezzi, was located on top of a hill on the outer limits of the city, close to the banks of the Ipiranga stream. Its monumental facade stands out in the landscape, marking the focal point of an extensive urban project implemented throughout the 20th century and which includes Independência Park and D. Pedro II Avenue.

Transformed into a museum in 1894, it has been managed by the University of São Paulo since 1963. In spite being one of the most visited museums in the country, it had been closed to the public since 2013 due to its material deterioration and the precariousness of its infrastructure, caused by budget cuts and the resulting lack of maintenance.

Selected through a public competition in 2017, this project had the challenge of restoring the pre-existing complex, modernizing its infrastructure, doubling its built area through an underground expansion, and allowing it to be reopened in time for the celebrations of Brazil’s Bicentennial of Independence, on September 7, 2022.


Beyond renovating and returning the museum to public visitation, the project promoted the requalification of a section of approx. 100.000 m2 of Independência Park where, in addition to restoration actions, universal accessibility was resolved as well as the enhancement of living spaces and services for its users.
A pedestrian access plaza was created, next to Nazaré Avenue, from the reconfiguration of the old residual road space previously used as car parking. Expansion of sidewalks and gates at various points created more comfortable access conditions for park users.

The positioning of the museum’s new public entrances next to the lower level of the garden produced a general redirection of pedestrian flows from the park’s various entry points and promoted a greater integration between museum and park.

The restoration of the adjacent gardens, recovering their original landscaping, gave greater visibility to the original building, emphasizing its intended monumental presence in the city.

Without modifying the volume of the complex, inhabiting pre-existing idle spaces, the project allows a new spatial experience of the building and its relationship with the landscape from above and below, providing new ways of seizing assets.

Except for the auditorium and temporary exhibition room, located in the expansion, equipped with all the facilities required by international collection loaning protocols, the entire museum operates using exclusively natural ventilation (the preexisting system was enhanced by discreet interventions on all openings and parts of the roofs), allowing significant energy and cost savings.

Since its reopening on September 7, 2022, it has received almost one million visitors.

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