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2018 MCHAP

Marla Antonia's Univeristy Center

Una Arquitetos

São Paulo, Brazil

July 2017


Una Arquitetos


França & Associados Engenharia (Concrete Engineer) Engenheiros Associados Consultrix (Foundation) Projetar Engenharia e Projetos (Installations ) Ambiental S/C Ltda (Acustics and thermal confort) Thermoplan Engenharia Térmica (Air-conditioning) Passeri & Associados (Acustics) Ricardo Heder (Lighting Design) Gedley Belchior Braga (Preservation Consulting) Tuca Capelossi (Historical Research) Sakae Ishi (Landscaping)


Centro Universtário Maria Antônia


Nelson Kon Renato Mangolin


The renovation and restoration project has sought to adapt two buildings that make up the complex for its new use, a center of contemporary art with exhibition spaces, rooms for theoretical and practical courses, the university theater, having as central issue to affirm its public character that has historically marked this USP patrimony. The proposal includes the restoration of the main facades and maintains intact the external shape of the buildings, proposing a new relation of the complex with the city. The open area between the two buildings gains the dimension of public space, forming a small square. At street level, this square is the natural enlargement of the sidewalk, defining an inviting access to the complex. On the lower level, an afforested patio connects the two buildings, also creating for the theater a place for outdoor performances. Requalifying the open spaces, by offering a generous connection of the complex with the city, is the contribution of the project to the memory of the academic, cultural and political movement that used to have its place in Maria Antonia Street.


Maria Antonia Street, in the center of the city of São Paulo, is a reference in the history of the University of São Paulo (USP), and a landmark in the cultural and political life of the city. It became a catalyst for academic and social discussions with the installation of the Philosophy, Literature and Human Sciences at that address in 1949. After the violent invasion of the building by a group of right-wing students, accompanied by the police, in 1968, the school was transferred to the new University Campus. The relevance of these events defined the reason for listing the main construction of the complex as heritage, by the state preservation agency.


The design has made explicit the different periods of the building, the successive renovations that have accompanied their diverse uses. It has articulated the remaining spaces, the back of the lot, the buildings that are directly connected to the complex. Squares, walkways, concrete towers, the new metal construction, the buildings of various periods. Centro Universitário Maria Antonia is not an building, but connected fragments, articulated parts of a densely occupied urban center. Used especially by students and by a great diversity of people, an outstanding characteristic of the center of São Paulo. A proposal or a contribution on the issue of interventions in the consolidated city. The Centro Universitario Maria Antonia design is a reflection on how to build from the existing city, with fragile patrimony in its architectural qualities, on its relations with the urban memory and the necessary transformations in the central region of São Paulo. Transforming the university complex into a qualified public space, with a frank relation to the city, was the best way to value its memory as a symbolic site of cultural production and democratic resistance.

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