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Fundação Florestal, São Paulo state, Brazil by 23 Sul

Emerging Brazilian practices find various tactics to gain footing in an evermore diverse architectural scene

23 Sul met at FAU-USP and set up in 2006, while many of the partners were still studying. They first worked on a cultural centre for a disadvantaged community near the university, a project that, despite the practice’s prolonged efforts, was never built, but that established a long-running commitment to public architecture. ‘In a city like São Paulo there’s a real lack of good public space’, they explain, ‘and it’s a direct way of changing people’s lives.’ The practice started at a time when public investment in architecture was more fruitful: political conditions over past years have pushed them towards work in increasingly privately owned spaces, but their hearts still lie with the public, describing public architecture work in Brazil as ‘an act of resistance and resilience’. They have formulated some tactics for survival, even managing to build with wood for the Fundação Florestal, an administrative building for the public body in charge of a protected area of forest on the southern coast of São Paulo state. Despite the natural abundance of wood and its suitability to the climate, timber construction is unheard-of in public architecture in Brazil. Concerns tend to rest with legal and budgetary issues and changing tactics is seen as a risk: ‘There’s a list of standard materials for public clients’, 23 Sul assert, ‘and wood is not on that list.’ The practice sees significant potential in timber used at great scale for public architecture in Brazil: perhaps this project can serve as precedent.

0278 23 sul fundacao florestal jureiaitatins pkok9657pe architectural review brazil 1465

0278 23 sul fundacao florestal jureiaitatins pkok9657pe architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Pedro Kok

Fundação Florestal by 23 Sul, 2019

027 23 sul fundacao florestal jureiaitatins pkok9657pe architectural review brazil 1465

027 23 sul fundacao florestal jureiaitatins pkok9657pe architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Pedro Kok

02 23 sul fundacao florestal jureiaitatins pkok9657pe architectural review brazil 1465

02 23 sul fundacao florestal jureiaitatins pkok9657pe architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Pedro Kok

23 sul drawing

23 sul drawing

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This case study featured in this piece from the AR October issue on Brazil – click here to purchase your copy today

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