Conversion center of many flows, major roads and motorways, stations, bus stations and metro stations … Campo Eliseos is the object of a renewal commitment initiated by the municipality. Associated with the Pinacoteca, the Sala Sao Paulo, …, and taking part in the cultural corridor of Nova Luz (designed by the city), this project aims to initiate the economic development of the neighborhood, through a cultural anchoring.
The idea is then to further the link between the different flows, as well as a certain social mix by requalifying this place in a neglected center. The design of a new centrality, a point of meeting, reflects this desire to go against the negative image of the neighborhood conveyed by drug-related practices (the project is located on the edge of Cracolândia, the crack capital of Brazil), and facing the Julio Prestes Station and to express this desire for a metamorphosis of a popular neighborhood with quality public and cultural facilities.
From then on, the botanical garden, a field of vegetable experiments, offers spaces for relaxation, comfort, curiosity development, a certain pedagogy, but also thermoregulation of the ambient air and the soil. Moreover, it created a vegetal continuity between the Jardin de la Luz and the Place Princesa Isabel. Deploying on the ground – the elevation of the two buildings (University of Botany and Library) allows the clearing of the ground for the benefit of the public space – and in the two buildings (more or less openly drawn), the botanical garden, offers the site a singularity on the scale of Sao Paulo and Campo Eliseos, and allows the elevation of the public space practicable at different scales, as well as the stratification of the perception of the city. Each of the buildings is articulated around voids, external for the university, internalized for the library, where the shared places are occasional resurgences of botanical garden and “public square”.
The public space is deployed on the first level of this building through the restaurant opened on an interior terrace. This place, overlooking the covered market, offers the visitor an unusual apprehension of the botanical garden, the latter being at the level of the treetops. Also, the structure of the university dissociates spaces characterized: housing, drug shoot room, students, and researchers. These areas are also distinguished in plan. The students benefit from vast trays filled with small greenhouses. The researchers have more intimate personal laboratories and trays articulated according to double or triple heights, ideal for the development of larger greenhouses. Each one of these spaces, widely open, benefit from protected outdoor places singularized: gardens, terraces, greenhouses, squares.
The raised ground floor of the library (archive base), open, is deployed according to a system of ramps and plans punctuated kiosks : acceuil, bookstore, marginal cinema, exhibition … Designs then the whole area, each with its own specialized premises and large terraces. The children benefit from collective reading spaces, a panoramic cinema, playgrounds … The students in botany enjoy garden resurgences, herbarium consultation rooms with light tables, work rooms … The adults enjoy relaxing areas, more intimate, vast trays … Finally, the last levels open onto accessible hanging gardens, as well as a terrace with sports ground and coffee, mixed with the last outer reading spaces dominating the site.
Who influences you graphically?
I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, it’s a huge source of inspiration. I am interested in all that concerns the graphics, whether it is painting, drawings, but also photography or sculpture. I find in these elements references of textures, materials, colours, points of view, spatial organization.
For the renderings, I also look at the work of young architects like Fala atelier, Dogma, Office KGDVS, Nicolas Brigand, but also less young as OMA. I particularly appreciate the images that play on the contrasts, blend several graphic languages, and remain from the field of concept communication, rather than from photo-realism.
What defined the aesthetic language of the proposal?
A graphical rendering must serve the project. Here the ambition was twofold, to convey the architecture that I wanted simple, purified, and rich of a volumetric writing but also an ambience, a South American atmosphere. Models and images are therefore treated in the same way, to contextualize, with sensitivity and efficiency, the project.
I decided to develop a rendering based on neutral tones, almost black and white, punctuated by touches, patches of bright, warm colours. The contrasts thus produced make it possible to appreciate the play of voids and fills, important in the design of this project, and also emphasize singular elements of the program.
How did the model help represent the project further? How could the photo manipulation of this help in exploring it to its full potential?
Despite a distortion of scale, the model allows an easier sensitive transport within the project. It offers a global vision, reflects the relationship with the context, but also the dialogue between interior and exterior, the interweaving of spaces, through the multiplicity of points of view, transparency, covisibility.
The photography, through zooms, selected views, highlights some characteristic points by directing the eye, in order to guide the observer and to transmit all the concepts developed.
What defined the specific framing of each view?
The project was fairly consistent, and therefore required a multi-scale approach. The choice of different frames reveals this work, by means of zooms on singular spaces, through images where the multiplicity of atmospheres, spaces within the two buildings, but also their relation to the surrounding environment, the botanical garden, and far away, the city.
The collage depicting the character in yellow, reflects this desire to deploy different ambiences throughout the project, proposing a path through several types of public spaces. He is seen at the edge of the botanical garden, from which he perceives the two buildings. Then in the covered market under the university, in the large hall of the library where several small kiosks are developed (bookstore, bar, marginal cinema …). Finally, we see him on the rooftop, where again dialogue several atmospheres.
If you could do one drawing which would summarise the entire project what would this be?
The main idea of the project was to develop public places covered and opened in an architectural ensemble to clean lines. The botanical garden is also present here, as a unifying element. From then on, I think that the drawing summarizing at best the whole project, would be a kind of simple, cubic, open and heightened volume to release the space on the ground, crossed from the bottom up by an immense tree, as a breath at the heart of the hubbub of Sao Paolo.