The original building was inspired by the Pompidou center in Paris, complete with exposed pipes, multiple entrances, and stacked mezzanine levels. The space was dug out to provide extra rooms below the ground level that houses the library, a cafe, and cool exhibition spaces which are used by local artists.
A spiral staircase joins the industrial interior with the grass-clad roof. Out on top, this green roof stretches into the distance, suspended above the busy Avenida 23 de Maio below. Here, a range of seating provides great areas for visitors to hang out after spending time in the library or looking at educational exhibitions and interactive installations.
The most impressive part of the center is its cool urban garden, located at one end of the roof. This garden provides the perfect spot for growing all manner of plants that thrive in Sao Paulo’s tropical weather. Vegetable patches, water filtration systems and grow beds line this section, and visitors are invited to take part in its upkeep every week.
There are cultural centers abound in Sao Paulo but few provide such lush and creative use of outdoor space. Perhaps this model of urban farming could inspire others to follow suit.
Images via Helen Morgan