Following a trend that can be observed in many world-class urban centers, which includes a concern with social well-being, the coexistence of citizens in public spaces, the integration of public transportation, the encouragement to alternative means of mobility and, of course, sustainability, Brazilian architect Gustavo Penna developed the project that won the public tender for the new Administrative Center of Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The building designed by his company, GPA&A, is basically transparent, with horizontal lines, sitting around a free span over 20m wide that forms a big open square, integrates spaces for pedestrians and preserves the architectural heritage of the city. “This work holds an urban dimension even bigger than an architectural one, considering it creates a sheltered square for coexistence that is four times the size of MASP, in São Paulo. It also includes a bikeway around the building that allows for cyclists to ride their bicycles to the top floor,” Penna explains.
The proposal was chosen unanimously by the judging commission, which considered aspects such as the quality of architectural and landscaping features, environmental impact reduction, accessibility, esthetics and comfort, sustainability, safety and costs. The Administrative Center will consist of 13 floors and will occupy a built area of 100,000m² on the area that is currently used as a parking lot for the main bus station in Belo Horizonte. The building will shelter up to ten thousand people at a time. Aside from serving as a large area for people’s coexistence and preserving the façades of the old bus station, which is a building protected by the municipal heritage, the project favors public transportation by being integrated with the metro system, the bus rapid transit system and the bikeway system.