The monolithic facade of the new addition to the Porto Seguro Cultural Center in São Paulo, Brazil, folds inwards to create asymmetric, angular walls that lead visitors into its exhibition space. Design studio São Paulo Arquitetura conceived the building as a beautiful, multifunctional venue for exhibitions, workshops, courses, symposiums, parties and festivals. To protect the artwork inside, the glass portions of the building are wrapped in a facade of wood and concrete.
The monolithic concrete exterior encourages people to enter through its mysterious, shadowed folds. Once inside, the interior opens up into a bright, welcoming space. The new gallery space is located in Campos Elíseos, a neglected area of São Paulo plagued by drugs and social problems. It is part of a larger initiative to revitalize the region and introduce social change through culture.
The Center is divided into exhibition spaces and the administrative and service areas, framed by the concrete folds that also ensure good acoustics. In areas where good ventilation and lighting are primary concerns, the glass parts of the facade are enveloped in a second layer made of concrete and wood. A mezzanine can be accessed via a ramp that is projected to the outside, creating an opportunity for visitors to experience the space from different vantage points.
Photos by Fabio Hargesheimer, Courtesy of São Paulo Arquitetura