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


My project seeks to create a housing prototype that can be deployed in various sections of the new city of Fazenda Paranoazinho, a 16 million square-meter estate located between Brasilia and Sobradinho slated for development into a city for 150,000 inhabitants by UPSA.

I began my project with the goal of creating a community within my block in response to the challenge of developing an identity within a new city. I focused on the residential unit as having both social and domestic functions, attempting to create spaces for flexible living and working, as well as maintaining the opportunity for separation between the two.

In order to accomplish this, and to create units that could inhabit the depth of my block, I studied the Unitéd’Habitation model, in which an interior circulation corridor splits two two-story units in section. I applied this to a more South American model, making the circulation part of an exterior courtyard system that expands, aerates, and lights the units. On non-circulating floors, these courtyards belong to the private realm of the unit and can be inhabited, functioning as a threshold between functions within the unit.

Each unit has a series of facades facing the street, interior courtyard, and exterior courtyard, which hang from the structural walls that run the length of the units. These facades are flexible, and respond both to exterior context and interior program.

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