São Paulo City Hall / EMURB
Sao Paulo, SP
Built Up Area: 
106,84 ha

This competition challenged, in the midst of the 21st Century, the concept of what one would consider the “ideal” urban life. This formulation, inherited from the 20th Century, characterized by pragmatism, raised questions that should be extended to the project, such as mobility, life, co-existing and experiencing the city seen within an idealized context.

The new hypotheses should also relate to the specific legislation of the area (the need of an urban intervention was needed since 1985) and all of its land structure, barriers (railroads), accessibility (Barra Funda terminal), open public spaces and articulations with other parts of the city as well.

The question was raised and interpreted by us based on another possible meaning: the idea we worked with was of rescuing legible morphologic references, relying on the idea of process and constant mutations of the urban condition.

While formulating new guidelines for the area, the themes we chose to analyze the place where quite important. We considered possible cartographies, understanding the actual condition and mapping the territory so that, based on a well-done reading of the place, we could come up with project hypothesis. Places of opportunity, points of historical and social reference, views, geography, scales and meaning of some of the existing equipment are some of these themes. From them, we introduced possible ways of appropriating the territory considering infrastructures, articulations, accessibility, diversity of uses, in systemic or punctual situations; in the end creating a perspective of attribution of value to the territorial occupation and the urban experience. In this way, we inverted the question initially posed by the competition: what was in debate was not the idea of an ideal neighborhood, but how an neighborhood could contribute to the future of the city.

Non-Permanent Cities

The city is the superposition of unstable and simultaneous construction of contradictory interests where the dispute for the territory takes place. In this sense, the public intervention should be fundamental in the resolution of these conflicts, being able to control the price of each area and location so that this distribution can be more democratic.

In this case, the State, as suggested by the competition, has a fundamental role as the one that should structure the dimension of the public intervention and regulate private action, implementing guidelines for mixed uses spaces, multiple social opportunities, landscape, built potential (densities) etc. Therefore, the actions of the Government expand their effectiveness, acting simultaneously in the private and public realm.

The Worth of Urban Design

Ordinary laws do not guarantee the quality of urban spaces. Legislation and norms are formed based on abstract concepts, restrictions and coefficients that do not result in a morphological or spatial quality. The hypothesis here proposed, of the hybrid squares, is inspired on a unit of urban reference from the traditional city, but differs due to the suggested occupation: by alternating the typology without radicalizing the transformations (from the house to the towers), great densities are possible and a wide diversity in relation to the streets, besides patio spaces and multiple programs. The legislation would be formatted to determine a series of possible combinations.

The Park

The starting point was to establish an urban locus to be an emblematic intervention in a specific region; an irreversible project of great importance able to be defined as a space of public use. By creating a Park, we were able to materialize this premise.
In addition to its own qualities, the project is based on an educational effort: to give aesthetical-spatial value to ecological principles, such as the use of rainwater.

© Vigliecca & Associados