Mackenzie Presbyterian University, UPM, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Sao Paulo

Project idea

Through a suggested route, “Intentos por São Paulo: Ensaio Minhocão” provokes all of us, subjects who use, consume and produce the urban, to reflect on the relevance of experiences, perception and spatial apprehension of the city in everyday life.
The proposal takes shape by connecting four “intentos” (interventions) along the path of the viaduct Elevado Pres. João Goulart (Minhocão), in the city center of São Paulo. Each attempt seeks to sensitize individuals by sharpening the senses of those who connect physically and visually in these spaces. The aim is to remove individuals from the state of anesthesia in the real world caused by the hypervaluation of the virtual world, using, as an artifice, human physical experiences such as sitting, feeling, smelling, living.
To this end, we work with the idea of decompressing passers-by in spaces that allow them to pause and perceive the dynamics around them. Each project is carried out in a unique way and adapted to its context, emphasizing the urban layer of communication and culture through shock, mixture and experiences. That is, it generates identity and belonging through the unique memories created between the individual, the collective and the urban space.
“These spatial experiences are open ended, they form a network of overlapping perspectives.” Steven Holl.

Project description

“Intentos por São Paulo: ensaio Minhocão” proposes a look, a pause and a path.
From the perspective of the cities, it’s believed that the relationship between spaces and life is divided between those who pass by and those who observe. It’s necessary to expand this apprehension, which leads us to think about the creation of “intentos” (interventions) capable of discussing and promoting urban existence in a different way by infiltrating the voids and cracks of this dense metropolis.
A place is chosen where spatial appropriation comes before support, where the need to be is greater and, therefore, fertile for new possibilities: Elevado Pres. João Goulart (Minhocão), in the center of São Paulo. Without putting on or taking off. As built.
As an infrastructure - viaduct -, Minhocão plays the role of road connection. However, as a leisure area - park -, the place is extremely arid: access points to the upper level are more than a kilometer away; lack of green and shaded areas; as well as equipment for the stay of users. The attraction is the possibility of free and unexpected use.
The interventions are arranged in such a way as to connect the city level with the Minhocão level, using the gaps between buildings, residual and unutilized spaces along the route. These points, in addition to closing the gap between the vertical circulations, approach a pleasant walking scale and expand the possibilities of meetings, in a space with great urban accessibility by public transport.
Each project is carried out in a unique way and adapted to its context, making level connections from the most traditional way - such as stairs and walkways - to playful and unusual ways - such as slides and tensioned nets.
By inaugurating this dialogue with society about everyday life, this proposal provokes the “status quo” of how to conceive public facilities and their traditional deployment sites - such as parks and squares. By taking a classic urban infrastructure - an overpass - as the implantation site, a discussion is proposed for the population on how to insert the ludic in the urban environment.
Therefore, the effect of these proposed new facilities lies not in their durability, but in their profound impact on supporting the needs of unconventional public leisure spaces. Which, ultimately, leads to the discussion of public space as something beyond what is known: as something that generates identity and belonging through the unique memories created between the individual, the collective and the urban space.

Technical information

The structure made up of scaffolding provides flexibility for the creation of these solutions, as well as facilitating implementation in the various chosen locations, since they are modular and industrialized. Another important factor is its reutilization and assembly, which allow low impact installation and accommodation in the ground. A light structure, visually and constructively permeable, capable of adapting and opposing the masses of buildings and concrete in the surroundings and generating shade and rest areas in the aridity of the upper level of the viaduct-park.
The choice for scaffolding proposes an unusual function for the raw material, which now becomes the protagonist in construction instead of occupying a complementary role. This language is intrinsically linked to the idea of a new use for an area as well-known and consolidated as the city center. It’s about discussing what is already known: how to appropriate what already exists and create a new way of existing.

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