Vila Madalena, a bohemian neighborhood in São Paulo, is one of the city’s most traditional places. Congregating residential buildings, shops, restaurants, and offices, it is a good example of a mixed-use neighborhood with a multiple, intense urban life. Highly sought after by companies and professionals in the creative industry, it has become one of the most vibrant destinations in the metropolis.
When we were commissioned to design a mixed-use building there, we decided that it should reflect the energy and relaxed spirit which characterize the neighborhood, exploring a light language in the construction repertoire and using industrialized materials and components. Madalena Street is the Pop Building’s main access and also the terrain’s highest point. From here, we get to the entrance square, under a marquee that covers the social spaces and a store that opens directly onto the street. The center of the square is a belvedere from where people can watch the surroundings, and then advance to the swimming pool, under the double-height ceiling.
Structured by a conventional grid of reinforced concrete pillars and beams, the building has its edges relieved, in such a way that the prevailing structural element in the constructed volume is the slab, the horizontal plane that constitutes the main composition matrix when stacked. From this structural matrix, we used industrialized materials and components to build the vertical enclosure system. Glass, different kinds of thermoacoustic metallic tiles, and galvanized wire guardrails, among others, are part of this repertoire. Combined with simple strategies for passive conditioning, this construction repertoire contributes to good bioclimatic performance in the building.
The façades of the apartment units are always receded, in such a way that eaves and balconies work as horizontal brise-soleils. The sliding panel system made of perforated metal tiles completes the solution, keeping sun exposure to a minimum.
The main tower, above the entrance square, has seven floors of apartments units, ranging in size from 55 to 250 square meters. Floor plans are flexible and might be integrated, creating differently sized apartments. Below ground floor, there is room for the other common areas of the building, such as gym and common laundry. Below this floor, a high-ceiling glass-enclosed store opens directly to Simpatia Street.