The particular urban base of the Vila Madalena neighborhood in São Paulo defined the project created by Triptyque Architecture: a residential complex on Arapiraca Street. The integration with its context – a neighborhood of old houses, close to bars and restaurants – was the main objective of Triptyque’s architects, in order to make a natural dialogue between the 8000m2 volume of construction and its relief.
As such, the architects decided to split the complex into eight randomly distributed blocks, each one with an independent access, whose the position guarantees the best view and optimizes ventilation and natural light. A ninth block shelters the elevators, the shafts and the stairs; it concentrates the exits of the metallic footbridges: a place for circulation and socialization between the inhabitants.
The result is a configuration of apartments allowing for a level of privacy equal to independent houses. With generous terraces and high ceilings, the units vary from studio to triplex and can have different layouts. The shared area on the upper floors, and particulary the walkways, are bathed in sunlight and ventilated by the wind.
The collective memory of Vila Madalena takes root in the choice of coatings, where the predominance of projected concrete – a rough and rustic, almost primitive, material in a graphite color – is a reference to the very common coating used for older constructions in the district.
The historical reference also appears in ceramics – a reference to the Portuguese, the first immigrants who occupied the region. The blue and white azulejos, a tribute to the artist Athos Bulcão, cover all internal façades. Smooth and reflective, they give life to the façades while illuminating the center of the ground. The apparent layers of the gabions give a brutalist aspect to the whole.
Vegetation plays a central role in this project, both in the plats attached to the walkways and on the ground-floor, where the green density creates an atmosphere like an urban forest under the building. It’s as though the building is springing up from the jungle, opening like a square onto the city.
At both the building’s entrances, the porosity erases the limit between the ground and the sidewalk creating a blurred boundary between the public and the private, thus revealing the generosity of the project as a whole.
“We have designed the Arapiraca building integrated in its context, but at the same time with a striking and innovative presence,” conclude the partners at Triptyque Architecture.