Concrete mass: welcome to São Paulo’s newest cultural centre

Concrete mass: welcome to São Paulo’s newest cultural centre

The Espaço Cultural Porto Seguro, a new centre for the arts designed by Brazilian firm São Paulo Arquitetura which is headed by architects Miguel Muralha and Yuri Vital, was envisioned as a key hub to provide the inhabitants of Campos Elíseos with a much-needed centre dedicated to culture and creativity.

The project is located in the Paulista area of the Brazilian metropolis. Situated in the city centre, this lively district is home to the headquarters of the Sao Paulo government and the busy train stations of Júlio Prestes and Luz, however it has, in recent years, seen a rise in social problems. The new centre was built to encourage urban rejuvenation, hoping to bring a flood of creative opportunities to the area through a variety of events, from festivals to exhibitions, symposiums and parties.

The centre’s striking concrete volume is divided into five defined areas; administration, museology, classrooms, bathrooms and a series exhibition spaces, all of which were designed with flexibility of use in mind. Access to the back half of the building is provided through a ramp, placed in a gap that slices the building in two. A ‘second skin’ made out of timber is used in parts of the facade to bring in natural light and ventilation where neded. 

The angular building also comes equipped with outdoor space in the form of a ’cultural square’. This helps the centre ‘exceed the physical limit of the building and create alternative exhibition spaces outdoors.’ The square will also host facilities such as a gift shop and restaurant, ensuring that the Espaço Cultural Porto Seguro and its locale quickly become a hotspot for locals and visitors who want to sample the area’s cultural happenings.

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