Towering ambitions A disused tower block in central São Paulo has been converted into a vibrant fitness, sport and leisure destination for the city, as Kim Megson reports
razilian design studio MMBB Arquitetos and legendary architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha have collaborated on the transformation of a disused tower block in central São Paulo into a vibrant leisure destination for the city. Created for Brazilian non-profit SESC, the 14-storey building, situated on Rua 24 de Maio and Rua Dom José de Barro, has been stripped of several unnecessary elements – including a bankrupt department store at its heart – to clear space. New facilities have been introduced in their place, including a health club, climbing wall, library, restaurant, galleries, cafe, dance studio, rooftop swimming pool and a subterranean theatre. Hanging gardens, covered squares and balconies create additional mini public spaces across the building. Circulation has been enhanced with the introduction of large ramps © cybertrek 2018
connecting each floor. According to the design team, “in addition to their main function, these liven up the visitor experience, allowing an unleashed and playful stroll through the building.” “Our design approach was to make the whole building breathe better to ensure it was more suited to its new uses,” they added in a statement. The structure’s glass cladding has been revamped to expose life inside the building, inviting pedestrians in and providing panoramic views right across the city for its users. Da Rocha is famous for his cultural buildings in Brazil, particularly in São Paulo. These include the Athletic Club of São Paulo, the Brazilian Sculpture Museum MuBE, Patriach Plaza, the Pinacoteca do Estado gallery and the FIESP Cultural Center. ●
Paulo Mendes da Rocha Read online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital
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