The layered superquadra and museum to Paranoazinho, Brasilia, Brazil

Jonathan Sun (website)
Yale School of Architecture
1118b: Advanced Design Studio: Bald/Birmann
Brief: Housing Prototype for Paranoazihno
Faculty: Sunil Bald (website), Rafael Birmann (website)

Paranoazinho is a satellite site near Brasilia which is being developed by UPSA, a company founded by Rafael Birmann, into a city for 150 thousand inhabitants. The Destination Passeio, a gently curving 800m artery in the center of the site will be the city’s commercial and cultural hub.

The Layered Superquadra takes the premise of the typological Brasilia housing block, the superquadra, and attempts to create a mixed-use urban development along the Paranoazinho Destination Passeio by lifting the form of the superquadra onto a mixed-use institutional plinth that occupies one block of the Destination Passeio masterplan. This 100m x 100m block is situated at a major intersection between the Passeio and a cross street connecting Paranoazinho to Brasilia, and as such, a Museum to Paranoazinho is proposed for this key location.

The two-storey plinth is composed of retail program lining the block at ground level, a horizontal open-plan office bracketing the second floor, and the two story museum occupying the center of the block. This monumental plaza functions both as an extension of the museum as an open sculpture garden, as well as an urban gathering space lined with restaurants.

A small two-storey structure brackets this plaza and faces the Passeio. The structure contains retails spaces, a bar and restaurant, as well as a space for temporary museum exhibitions.

The roof of the plinth is occupied by recreational amenities for the residential towers above, and functions as a private oasis for the residents of the block, therefore recreating the superquadra condition in an urban mixed-use context.

The residential towers line the perimeter of the block and are accessed at ground level on two corners of the plinth. Elevator cores are expressed separately from the blocks and pierce through the museum atria to provide a visual connection through the entire project and to celebrate the hyper-articulated elevator core — a common theme in the Brasilia superquadra.

The residential towers are 12m bars occupied by discrete residential units — based on residential units from different superquadra blocks — which widen based on the occupancy and size of the unit. Two-story units occupy all the ends of the towers, creating different unit arrangements along the tower and minimizing circulation space.


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