The Paraisópolis Favela (Grotão)

Despite its central urban location, the area of Grotão is connected by only one single road to the larger circulation systems of Sao Paulo, effectively separating it from the formal city. Within this separated zone, increased erosion and dangerous mudslides have characterized the site as one of many primarily inaccessible high risk zones.

As a result, the unfortunate but necessary removal of several damaged housing units has created a void in the otherwise dense fabric.

The new landscape generates the opportunity of transforming the vacated space into a productive zone and public space through social design, a process of analyzing the conditions of rapid growth and improving marginalized settlements through social infrastructure.

The lower zone of the site contains the music school prototype, which vertically stacks several diverse programs to maximize site potential. These include the bus station/ transportation infrastructure, soccer pitch, community center, and the music school, which contains classrooms, practice rooms, recording studios, and performance halls.

The project proposes that architects eschew their conventional role in traditional hierarchies and instead serve as an enabling connection between the opposing forces of top-down planning and bottom-up initiatives. Acting to attract and create common ground for these two forces, architects can eliminate divisiveness and generate productive interactions. Here the priority becomes equipping this peripheral neighborhood with infrastructure, water, sewage networks, lighting, services, and public space in addition to other urban interventions, such as the improvement of social equipment in the areas of health, education, culture, and sports. The proposed urban model aims to translate into spatial solutions a society’s need for equal access to housing, employment, technology, services, education, and resources – fundamental rights of all city dwellers.


Portal da Prefeitura da Cidade de São Paulo