This project is featured in NESS.docs 2: “Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas.” The issue takes its name from a project lead by the Office for Urbanization at Harvard GSD. It explores the potentials for landscape as a medium of urban intervention in the specific social, cultural, economic, and ecological contexts of Latin American cities. The issue will be available very soon. Sign-up to our newsletter to be the first to know!
Located in the Brazilian city Salvador de Bahia, this project built in 2013 by Metro Arquitetos Associados deals with the necessity of a device that allows for an efficient connection to the historic center. It understands not only the legacy of its surroundings but also proposes new ways of engaging with them.
Ph. Ilana Bessler
The urbanization project for the Praça do Cinema Glauber Rocha square and Ladeira da Barroquinha took into consideration the importance of the built heritage and the conciliation of diverse existing and desired uses for this important axis of connection in the historical center of Bahia’s capital. The square, due to its elevated character in comparison to the surroundings, had the natural potential to become a belvedere looking towards the Igreja da Barroquinha church or to the Bay of All Saints. There were two kinds of possible users: those coming out of the bus stop towards the historical center who use the space with a clear purpose and those who want to visit local artisanal leather stores and casually pass through.
The design of this large staircase is the result of the organization of these uses: a comfortable continuous structure that allows for a quick walk as well as an unfolding into a sequence of plateaus that insinuates a slower pace.
The chosen materials are the same as those found in the historical center, namely Portuguese mosaic stone floors and massive granite in the thresholds. The curved granite pieces were all laser cut, illustrating the contemporary nature of the project while using material from the past.
LOCATION: Salvador de Bahia, Brazil / DATE: 2013 (competition and construction) / SITE AREA: 2440 m2, 26263.94 f2 / STATUS: Built / ARCHITECTURE DESIGN: Metro Arquitetos Associados / PROJECT MANAGER: Martin Corullon, Gustavo Cedroni, architects / COLLABORATORS: Marcelo Macedo, Miki Itabashi, Flavio Bragaia, Isadora Marchi, Luis Tavares, Rafael de Sousa, architects / CONSULTANTS: Ricardo Heder, Light Design, Ricardo Vianna, Landscape Design, P.K.M. e Usina de Projetos, Infrastructure / PHOTOS: Ilana Bessler