Originally thought as studio/atelier, the Harmonia 57 sits in the heart of Vila Madalena, an artistic neighborhood where street walls and galleries offer a great variety of expressions and occupational forms. It is situated in a place where floods are frequent, and its creation offered many challenges.
The building is a complete and finished newborn manufactured object and, like all living bodies, it breathes, sweats and changes itself with time, aging and recovering. It brings to life the different stages of its evolution, and changes under the influence of natural and artificial accidents, such as rain, vegetation growth, pumping, irrigation.
The water is the main feature in this project: rain and soil water are drained, treated and reused, creating a complex ecosystem. The water system is visible through its low tech elements such as tubes, plumbing tanks, sprinklers, and pipes, which sometimes work as guard rails.
From the thick outside walls emerges the skin of the body. This dense wall is made of an organic concrete that has pores, where several plant species grow, giving the facades a unique look. The façade’s aesthetics, evolving and heterogeneous, will, in time, assume different forms and colors.
The building’s insides are exposed in the facades, while the interior spaces are well finished, with a clean and minimalistic aspect, as if the construction was inside out. The irrigation pipelines that serve the whole building, along with the pumps and the water treatment system, embrace the outer walls like veins and arteries of a body.
The building’s volume is quite simple, but also remarkable: two grand blocks are connected by a metallic footbridge, cut by concrete and glass windows and terraces. Between the blocks, an internal plaza opens up like a clearing, and acts like a place of encountering. In order to create a dialogue between the street and the building, the terraces are spread on each floor, giving birth to an analytical visual game between the two volumes.
The frontal block is completely suspended, and floats on pilotis, while the back block is solidly on the ground, complemented by a birdhouse-like volume on top of it.
The building is like a neutral, grey base, sculpted and deformed. The aesthetic is a result of the process – the structure is rough and has a primitive elegance – a reflex of the actual concern with environmental issues and the investigation of ways of intervention
Contrasting with the rough vegetation exterior, the internal spaces of the building have smooth and monochromatic surfaces, with decks and patios, interrupted by protruding concrete lips that frame the skyline of Vila Madalena.
Laura Bigliassi – Architect (BR) Isabella Gebara – Architect (BR) Tiago Guimarães – Architect (BR) Felipe Hess – Architect (BR) Bob Van den Brande – Architect / Engineer (BE) Flavio Miranda – Architect (BR) Renata Pedrosa – Architect (BR) Marc Roca Bravo – Architect-Internship (ES) Bruno Simões – Architect / Photographer (BR) Filipe Troncon – Architect (BR)
Nelson Kon / Bruno Simões / Beto Consorte