Page 1


A. Y. 2016/ 2017

School of architecture and society

Supervisor: Prof. Arch. Simone Giostra

Master of architecture

Student: Nadezhda Safronova 832804


1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 State scale 2. ANALYSIS 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6

SIte scale Topography Permeability Transport Social segregation Building typologies

3. CONCEPT 3.1 Tasselation logics 3.2 Biomimicry approach 4. DESIGN 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

Components Closed loop system Typologies Detalization


4 5 8 10 12 16 18 24 28 32 34 40 48 50 58 80 84 94


INTRODUCTION/ state scale

SAO PAULO (city) Area [metro/city] 7,944 km2 /1,221 km2 Population [metro/city] 21,242,939/ 12,038,175 Density [metro/city] 7.858,13 km2/ 2,469.35 km2

SAO PAULO (federal state) Area: 248,222.8 km2 Population: 44,396,485 Density: 180/km2

BRAZIL 27 federative units Area: 8,515,767 km2 Population: 206,440,850 Density: 23.8/km2 

Brazil can be characterized as a very rapidly developing country. From 1930-s with only about 30% of population living in cities it reached 80% to 2000 year. From 1930 to 1980, the period was also called "National development" Sao Paulo is very significant city in Brazil context. To understand better, on its territory that is around 3% of Brazil area lives 22% of country population. This period can be characterized as a very advantageous period with a lot of good improvements in social sphere. But in 1980s the crisis came with a lot of side effects, that are poverty, drop in economic rates and social problems. One of the main outcomes of that period was introduction of favelas, as there were not enough of space for people in the city. Of course the urbanization of Brazil is linked to Sao Paulo. It is a very complex and not homogenious city. First of all I should mention that urbanization rate is more than 90% and rate of population growth is around 60%. Hence, this drammatic changes of population distribution can not be unnoticed in city context. Urbanization is always very debating process, with its prons and cons. Sao Paulo is an important attractor, as it has work places, facilities, education institutes, so its metropolitan area population is almost equal to city area.


15 000 and more

10 000- 15 000

5 000- 10 000

5 000 and less

Population density rate per square kilometer

20. 8

20 17. 9 15. 4

15 12. 6 10

8. 5

8. 1

11. 3

10. 4

9. 6

5. 9

5 Population growth rate in Sao Paulo and its metropolian zone.








ANALYSIS/ site scale

M 1: 20000


The design perimeter encloses an expanse of approximately 1.8 square kilometers. In the middle of the competition site is the 0.64 square kilometer CEAGESP area, with its prominent and distinctive open market pavilion. For almost twenty years, the city government of Sao Paulo has been considering relocating the CEAGESP wholesale market to the periphery of the city. The current mayor, Fernando Haddad, announced in early 2016 that these intentions will now be implemented into action and the relocation plans should move forward later this year. In February 2016, the necessary zoning changes were passed in the city parliament. They enable the transformation of the existing industrial and commercial area into a high-density, mixed-use zone. Within the northern part of the site perimeter, there is already real estate development activity. On the opposite side of the river from the CEAGESP area, there are more industrial uses, as well as the favela Nova Jaguare, with about 16,000 inhabitants. It has been the object of many enhancement and upgrading measures over the last fifteen years, such as the construction of infrastructures, parks, and social housing. A little further to the southeast, near the site, is the vast campus of the University of Sao Paulo (Universidade de Sao Paulo), the Cidade Universitaria with numerous architectural masterpieces of Brazilian modernism.


The competition site, situated west of the old center of Sao Paulo, is located in close proximity to one of the functional gateways to the city, a strategic position, through which hundreds of thousands of commuters from outlying urban areas pass daily, on their way to and from work. The site is northwest of the current centralities of mostly high-paying jobs. This offers the potential to divert development in the city away from a southward direction by presenting an alternative in the northwest. The CEAGESP area could become a new centrality in a network of other new and existing centralities. Changes to the mix of uses on the site could offer new economic and housing opportunities. The CEAGESP area has been functioning for many decades as a wholesale market for perishable goods. It is an important local employer. Within a radius of approximately one kilometer are numerous commercial businesses, specialist retailers, and service companies that are directly associated with the CEAGESP, such as plant nurseries, garden furniture retailers, and event agencies. The city government of Sao Paulo wants to relocate the commercial activity in the near future, moving it from the 640,000 square meter site to the periphery near the Rodoanel Mario Covas beltway. The primary reason for relocation is the high level of traffic associated with the CEAGESP, which significantly contributes to congestion in city. 0.00006

Source: Schindler Competition Brief


ANALYSIS/ topography

Topographic map

770 meters 760 meters 750 meters 740 meters 730 meters 720 meters

M 1: 20 000


The city has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. In summer (January through March), the mean low temperature is about 17 C and the mean high temperatures is near 28 C. In winter, temperatures tend to range between 11 and 23 C. One of Sao Paulo's characteristic features is its very dramatic landscape that gives space for chaotically organized favelas that spread on highly furrowed terrain. Though the site is an exception, as can be seen from the map. The site is a plain low- lying land with very slight height changes. Despite of that, topographic analysis was very useful to understand the water drainage way that is important in the city with a lot of non- permeable spaces that is one of the flood problems. That should be considered as all the rainwater will go through the site due to its lower position.


Average minimum and maximum temperatures. Source:,saopaulo,Brazil

Average monthly sunhours. Source:,saopaulo,Brazil

Average rainy days ( rain/snow ). Source:,saopaulo,Brazil


ANALYSIS/ topography

Water accumulation map

M 1: 20 000


Water flow pattern

M 1: 20 000


ANALYSIS/ permeability

Permeability map

M 1: 20 000



vacant land

public private green

track field


street green



Permeability is a very important issue that is linked to the process of urbanization. City is often compared with concrete jungles but unfortunately there are no way for water to go back to its usual circle, to the ground. That leads to some serious problems. First of all, ground becomes dry and not suitable for agro production, secondly the danger of flooding is increasing as almost all rainwater goes to the river. Another important issue is the water pollution, that is very actual for Sao Paulo. The river water can not be used for drinking, so there are two superficial reservoirs on the south of the city that supply clean water to the city. The problem of clean water in the city has already occured. The main reason of pollution is industrial waste. Also, from the middle of the last century a lot of river streams were put in channels or underground sewers to give space for building new roads and avenues.


Non- permeable surface map

Water quality map

highly polluted water polluted water moderate water quality


ANALYSIS/ transport

Transport map


local roads


bicycle paths

train highways train stop

M 1: 20 000


Sao Paulo's Metro is small relative to the size of the city and currently links only a few districts. It works in tandem with the CPTM regional rail system. Expansion of the city's rail network is planned, but the combined capacity still does not meet current demand, The subway has only 61 kilometres of lines, though 35 further kilometers are under construction or planned by 2010. Also the southern part of train network will connect it in a circle. The bus system is very well developed. In most cases, the buses have to share the roads with cars and are often equally affected by the problematic traffic conditions. While there are separate bus lanes in some places, their allocation is limited due to a general lack of space on the roadways.


Motorcycle 1. 9 % Walking 33. 1 %

Car 27. 2 %

29 %

34 %

37 %

Taxi 0. 2 %

Bicycle 0. 7 %

Bus 28. 5 %

Metro 5. 8 % Train 2. 1 %

In- city movement graph

Overall transport scheme of the city

autoroads train metro train circle (rodoanel) train circle (rodoanel) part under construction


ANALYSIS/ transport

Map of consistently trafficated zones

heavy traffic

M 1: 20 000

light traffic


Sao Paulo has the world's worst daily traffic jams. Each day its residents spend on average 1 hour and 44 minutes in a car or 1 hour 58 minutes on public transportation, in order to travel to and from their main activities. More than twenty million inhabitants now live in the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo. The existing road and highway infrastructures are consistently overloaded and there are frequently kilometer-long traffic jams. This may be one of the reasons why Sao Paulo has one of the largest privately owned helicopter fleets in the world, benefitting only the wealthy and allowing them to avoid the notoriously congested roadways. Based on reports from the Companhia de Engenharia de Trafego, the historical congestion record was set in 2014, with 344 kilometres of cumulative queues around the city during the evening rush hour.It can be due to the accelerated rate of motorization and the limited capacity of public transport. In Sao Paulo, traffic is growing at a rate of 7.5% per year, with almost 1,000 new cars bought in the city every day. Every day, many citizens spend between three up to four hours behind the wheel. On the given plot all means of transport are present and it is a very strategic point for mobility interventions, as it is the point where a huge amount of people from pereferic zone enter in the city. That of course leads to traffic in some points. On the left three schemes shows how traffic deposition changes during the day to understand the most problematic parts. After this analysis on the big map the places with constant traffic can be seen in the circles.

8 AM

12 AM

4 PM



Sao Paulo is a city that started its development late compared to Rio de Janeiro. Prevailing industry was a coffe plantations. From 20th century with the beginning of urbanization, first signs of social segregation could be noticed. From 20s- 30s Sao Paolo began rapid industrialization with switch from coffee production to blue- collar work, increasing spatial segregation. In 1950s the city has become megapolis. The first masterplan of the city was produced only in 70s, not paying attention to outlow districts. From that period on the number of favelas and corticos began its constant growth, transforming a city in a pattern with drammatically different social groups living very close. That led to incredible number of walls and security equipment, not leaving space for public spaces. Sao Paulo has two important types of slums: the"favela" and the "cortico". while still creating a resilient and fault-tolerant system. Links between food sources are made covering the shortest possible distances.

Source: Andrew Adamatzky, & Jeff Jones (2009). Road planning with slime mould: If Physarum built motorways it would route M6/M74 through Newcastle International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos


But are connected in such a way that a disruption in one area does not impact the overall health or efficiency of the slime mold's network. Among the fundamental differences between the favela and the cortico is that the former is a form of housing whose ownership, in general, is the dweller's, even if it is located on an invaded lot (whether public or private land) and without security of tenure; while the cortico is a type of precarious rented housing. Until the beginning of the 1980s, before the recession and the end of the pattern of peripheral urbanisation, the cortico was the dominant type of slum in Sao Paulo. Since then the favela began to dominate, growing sharply. Favela and cortico dwellers are subject to all kinds of violence and threats by owners or intermediaries. Sao Paulo's corticos remained almost untouched and kept steadily growing in number, especially in the central area. Only recently with the process of real estate price recovery in the central area did corticos start to be targets of governmental or market actions due to the emergence of more profitable activities in the area.

0 to 1000

1 000- 2 000

2 000- 3 000

3 000- 4 000

4 000 and more

Source: Sposati, 2000

Average income per month ($)


ANALYSIS/ building typologies



M 1: 20 000


condominiums, private houses

high- rise buildings

Historically favelas has begun its development in the places subjected to flood or stripes near railway, in general these settlements are situated on the outskirts of the city, precisely where the environmental conditions are unfavorable both from the geotechnical standpoint and the pollution of streams and important environmentally protected water supply areas. Therefore, improving the living conditions of this population by ensuring healthy surroundings as well as installing infrastructure and social equipment is a fundamental directive for municipal housing policy. Living in favela is a vicious circle, as people living there are often unemployed, as they don't have education, even if they are working, they can not afford them buying a flat even in social housing. Increasing their income is vital if these families are to be able to gain access to financing in order to purchase a home, even if subsidised. These findings make it clear that informal housing is the only viable alternative for the great majority of the city's poor. Once temporary and precarious settlements, the favelas and informal land subdivisions have become consolidated communities and their occupation is irreversible.


Deposition of favelas


Average income per month ($)

Population density rate per

Overall transport scheme of the city

square kilometer

Deposition of favelas

Water quality map


CONCEPT/ tasselation logics

Water flow map

M 1: 10 000


Water accumulation map




M 1: 10 000


CONCEPT/ tasselation logics

kWh/m2 1550

Water flow map

1530 1510 1490 1470

M 1: 10 000


As the site is situated lower than the city level, all water is accumulated on it. These natural characteristics of the site were main triggers of design. Site tesselation was done according to previous analysis affecting the size and heighth of cells.


CONCEPT/ tasselation logics

water accumulation map

thermal map

heighths based on water accumulation map

heighths based on thermal map


water flow map

voronoi based on water accumulation map

heighths based on water flow map

excluding river zone



One of the main aims of project was to Natural systems are working for centuries developing and changing their qualities according to external requirements. Though human progress have gone very far, biological progress is still not reachable. For me nature is the main source of inspiration that gives a lot of original approaches and decisions that can be employed also in architecture. Biomimicry is not so new science, people have always taken nature as an example. In my project I would like to use natural mechanisms as they have already proved their success. For me the main aim is not form copying but understanding the logic and adapting it in architecture.


One of the main aims of project was to design effective transport connection within the site and coonect it to the city. In nature mobility processes are working without any pauses and breaks. Thus, as a guide for my design I have taken inspiration from mold. In the last years was proved that mold has an ability to find the best root in search of food. Various experiments have proved that. As an example, putting food on the centers of Tokyo city and its pereferia and letting then mold develop a root, shows that it recreates almost identically city transport system.



CONCEPT/ biomimicry approach

Food attractors

M 1: 10 000


Simulation result


M 1: 10 000



Eucalyptus cultivation is one of the mail industries in Brazil. That tree has a various characteristics that are interesting and can be transferred in architecture. It is one of the most fast- growing tree species. That characteristic can be explained due to the often fires in Eucalyptus forests. So the tree has adapted some features to fight against natural conditions. The main word to characterize the eucalyptus protection can be replaceability. First of all, it has lingotuber, that is a part of root that is situated above ground and contains biomass, so when the tree is damaged or dead, the new tree is growing from the same lingotuber. Next replaceable part is epicormic shoots that are in a state of sleep under tree skin and when the tree is damaged and has not enough branches to catch solar energy, they wake up and start to grow. At last, eucalyptus has a serotiny that are a capsules with seeds that are very hard in normal conditions, but when the fire starts, they melt and throw the seeds to the ground.



CONCEPT/ biomimicry approach


First part is lignotuber, that is a part of root above ground containing a lot of minerals and chemical elements, so that when the tree is dead or burnt, new tree is growing from the same lingotuber.


Second part is epicormic shoots. They lie dormant inside a trunk until needed. They have regenerative function, so in case of lack of sun energy or damage of upper part they "wake up" and start to grow.


Third part is serotiny. Their amount depends on condition of tree. So, when it is dying a trigger start to work, enlarging the amount of serotiny and launch them.



Building lingotuber is a foundation that could be used for various purposes. Production, cleaning teaetment, storage, parking


Building structures are epicormic shoots that are "grown" when needed.


Serotiny are building skin that can be repaired or changed independently.




Every year people need more and more place for agriculture, livestock, energy production, etc. Usually this proccesses stay invisible from human eye and despite of having direct connection with living are put apart. Every dwelling, person, city has an ecological footprint. What if instead of putting production apart, put it directly under buildings. That will allow to decrease transportation costs and losses of energy in case of energy transmission.


What if the city parts are an independent systems, as with the ultimate growth one- centred systems are failing. Imagining a city as a structure that gives its inhabitants independent and conscious vision of their energy, food demand and waste, water treatment probably will make them more conscious about their consumption.


The main way of creating sustainable architecture is segregation of resources and outcomes. In this project waste and water are divided in groups due to the level of their pollution and allow to proceed with treatment with more efiicient way. The main aim was to reuse as much resources as possible. 

Working units Educational units Housing units

Bicycle, pedestrian roads Highways

Covered production units Open production units




The city in which every piece has multiple uses. Water, energy and waste are treated on the site and not hidden.


DESIGN/ closed loop system CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM

Closed-loop system is one in which every component (be it manufacturing, food, or anything else) is recirculated within that same system for as long as possible. The ultimate goal is to reuse, recycle, or biodegrade all materials involved so as to produce zero waste. Project proposes to use all underground space for waste, water and food treatment and production. That will allow it to be independent from city supplies and make it sustainable.

Anaerobic treatment



CHP unit

Biological treatment

Anaerobic digestion


Ultrafiltration UV disinfection

Biogas Fish farming

Gas outlet Fertilizer



Vertical garden FOOD





DESIGN/ closed loop system



ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb BIOMASS TREATMENT

Biomass contains stored energy from the sun. It can be burned directly or converted to liquid biofuels or biogas that can be burned as fuels. Biomass can be converted to other useable forms of energy such as methane gas or transportation fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Methane gas is a component of landfill gas or biogas that forms when garbage, agricultural waste, and human waste decompose in landfills or in special containers called digesters. Crops are fermented to produce fuel ethanol for use in vehicles. Biodiesel, another transportation fuel, is produced from vegetable oils and animal fats.



organic waste

kitchen reidues






storage anaerobic digestion



- hydrolysis - acidogenesis

biogas in CHP unit

- acetogenesis - methanogenesis

METHANE biomethane fuel


heat and electricity

ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb


anaerobic screening near digestor

vertical garden near digestor

anaerobic digestion

CHP unit near digestor


ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb WATER TREATMENT

Average water usage in Sao Paolo is around 143 litres per capita per day. So having around 5850 people on the site we get daily 702 702 litres of grey water. Taking in consideration possible rainfalls and more active water usage in summer, it is around 1 000 000 m3 of volume. If we put this amount in containers that have 1500 m2 area and 5 m og heigths we need 133 of that containers, but for safety reasons it can be avereaged to 150.















ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb


biological treatment

anaerobic screening

UV disinfection



ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb FOOD PRODUCTION

Food production takes up almost half of the planet's land surface and threatens to consume the fertile land that still remains. And with the world's population growing rapidly, the pressure is on farmers to find new land to cultivate. It is getting always harder to continue producing food from the land while preventing negative environmental consequences, such as deforestation, water pollution, and soil erosion


wheat to feed 3000 people


sweet potatoes to feed 2350 people

1 KM



fish to feed 13300 people


potatoes feed 10000 people


ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb


vertical gardens

livestock near anaerobic digestor

UV disinfection combined with fish farming

fish farming


ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb ENERGY PRODUCTION

Renewable energy provides substantial benefits for our climate, our health, and our economy. It dramatically reduces global warming emissions, improves public health, and provides jobs and other economic benefits. And since most renewables don't require water for cooling, they dramatically reduce the water requirements for power production compared to fossil-fueled power plants.



ANALYSIS/ DESIGN/ closed vewuybhfbwjux loop systemb


CHP unit


PV panels

wind turbines


Spaces do not stay empty, old structures are constantly replaced by new.



There are three typologies on site that contain working, studying and educational facilities. With the pace of time they can change according to the needs of inhabitants. Lingotuber functions correspond to the building type, for example biomass treatment is organized only under office buildings.



DESIGN/ typologies



DESIGN/ detalization



DESIGN/ detalization



DESIGN/ detalization



DESIGN/ detalization



Pedestrian and bicycle paths are the main means of transport



Biomimicry, Janine M. Benyus Nature, mother of invention : the engineering of plant life, Felix R Paturi On growth and form, D'Arcy Thompson Three crops, a permanent agriculture, J. Russell Smith. Origins of Form: The shape of natural and man-made things why they came to be the way they are and how they change, Christopher Williams. Biomimicry in architecture, Michael Pawlyn. Structure, Space and Skin, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture, Gyorgy Doczi Zygote Quarterly (bio- inspired magazine)



Biomimicry in architecture  
Biomimicry in architecture  

Thesis work