Subterranean São Paulo gets a makeover

Nick Myall
Wednesday 30 Mar 2016

Triptyque Architecture to transform the Minhocão Marquise in São Paulo, Brazil

The Minhocão viaduct was built in 1971, a sign of the modernity that gave cars such a central place. Today, it appears as a scar in downtown São Paulo in Brazil. Now a new plan has 16 years to transform almost 3km of the elevated section. For many years the focus was on the future of the high road, but never the lower section, areas like the urban tunnel were completely forgotten, a leftover part of São Paulo city.

Franco-Brazilian agency Triptyque Architecture in collaboration with the landscaper Guil Blanche are working together to change all that by transforming the lower road known as the Marquise. The two firms are encouraging the people of São Paulo to see the Marquise as a productive space instead of a neglected area that is best avoided.

First of all, the project is participative. The first step of this reflection was to invite the local community to develop and share their desires for the future of the Minhocão Marquise. The structure will change but according to the district identity and the local community.

Triptyque wants to give life to this space by allowing natural light to penetrate the lower areas. The light activates the area and allows life to settle, first in the form of the nature. The Minhocão Marquise is the most polluted area of São Paulo. According to research, suspended plants from the ceiling over the entire length of Minhocão, will filter 20% of the cars CO2 emissions. Irrigation of these plants will be provided by a natural water harvesting system, the vaporisation of this water will also have a sanitation role and clean the surface of Marquise.

Thanks to the institutional support of Interbrand, an international brand consultant, the Marquise Minhocão gained a personality, with a colourful logo and a new visual and verbal identity. Besides the colours, the logo brings a new perspective - that tempts to look up and down. "Today, to be relevant, it is necessary to question the status quo. This project will provide a generous point of view to the city and its environment. It will bring a completely different perspective to São Paulo for all brands whom are betting on the city," says Daniela Bianchi-Giavina - Managing Director of Interbrand.

Finally, the Marquise will receive a mix of programs. Its length will be divided into blocks determined by the space between each pillar (33m), these blocks will be numbered like the "posts" on the huge beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Each block will get four program modules: culture, food, services and shops.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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