'A new scale: ...no formula for the contemporary expression of the world. See with open eyes.'
Oswald de Andrade, Manifesto Pau-Brasil
Intermediate Unit 8 will continue to work on the design of a block in a Latin-American metropolis. This design will interrogate the civic role of large buildings in vast polycentric cities, considering for it the coexistence of public and private premises. The block will be located within
heterogeneous grid, and its size will
range between 90 and São Paulo 150
metres in each of its sides depending on the chosen
Being one of the first countries opposing neoliberal policies widespread in
has become a reference for an alternative model of economic and social
development. Latin-America, Brazil ,
its economic centre, has a fragmented urban configuration full of contrasts
consequential of a rapid economic and social growth. Each of its fragments is a
result of different negotiations between government and private investment,
what has left a disjointed urban grid with no continuous street wall, full of
interior borders and lacking urban cohesion. The unit proposes to work within
this heterogeneous grid to explore a polycentric city model and the fundamental
role of large urban blocks in bringing centrality to each urban fragment by
their civic performance. São Paulo
For this purpose, the structure of the academic year will be divided in three interrelated parts:
1. Field: Maps, photographs, indexes and observations on social, cultural and economic issues in the city that will inform the programmatic brief of the block and its civic role within the city.
2. Form: Analysis of formal spatial configurations that will articulate the block programmatic content. Some examples of
as Vilanova Artigas, Bo Bardi and Mendes da Rocha, and large urban block
proposals by other contemporary authors will be studied. Paulista
3. Interface: Studies on the responsiveness of the block, focussing on the relationship between the city and the block and qualities such as porosity, permeability and interaction will be explored through model making in a wide range of scales and larger material tests of building envelope. Finally, the unit will prime portfolio development and a holistic understanding of the design, investigating different possibilities of the axonometric view.