Skip to content

Audio Version

See more about

More info

Architects: Triptyque Architecture.

Site: Vila Madalena, São Paulo, Brazil.

Project start date: 2010.

Ground floor area: 1.633 m².

Total floor area: 8.000 m².

Photography: Fernando Guerra
Team: Carol Bueno, Greg Bousquet, Gui Sibaud, Olivier Raffaelli (partners); Luiz Trindade (general manager); Bianca Coelho e Beatriz Hipólito (projects manager); Felipe Alves (visual comunication); Marcella Verardo, Murillo Fantinatti, Pedro de Mattos, André Mathias, Vinicius Capela (architects).

Property developer: Idea!Zarvos.

Landscape: Rodrigo Oliveira.

Structure: Gama Z.

Installation: Tesis.

Air conditioning: Willem Sheepmaker & Assoc.

Lighting: Estudio Carlos Fortes.

Waterproofing: PROASSP.

Topographic survey:

Base: Portella Alarcon.

Elevators: Atlas.

Construction: Lock Engenharia.


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.

Site plan

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The historical reference also appears in ceramics – a reference to the Portuguese, the first immigrants who occupied the region.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.


Architects: Triptyque Architecture.

Site: Vila Madalena, São Paulo, Brazil.

Project start date: 2010.

Ground floor area: 1.633 m².

Total floor area: 8.000 m².

Photography: Fernando Guerra

urbanNext (May 24, 2024) Arapiraca. Retrieved from
Arapiraca.” urbanNext – May 24, 2024,
urbanNext June 7, 2017 Arapiraca., viewed May 24, 2024,<>
urbanNext – Arapiraca. [Internet]. [Accessed May 24, 2024]. Available from:
Arapiraca.” urbanNext – Accessed May 24, 2024.
Arapiraca.” urbanNext [Online]. Available: [Accessed: May 24, 2024]

urbanNext | expanding architecture to rethink cities and territories


Sign up to our newsletter

Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
High Density
Middle Density
Low Density
No Density







all formats