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Simpatia Street Housing / gruposp arquitetos

  • Architects: gruposp arquitetos
  • Location: Sao Paulo - São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architects: gruposp arquitetos / Alvaro Puntoni, João Sodré, Jonathan Davies
  • Collaborators: André Luiz Tura Nunes, Isabel Nassif Cytrynowicz, Rafael Murollo, Rodrigo Ohtake, Tatiana Ozetti
  • Landscape Design: SOMA / Apoena Amaral, José Luiz Brenna
  • Lighting: Ricardo Heder
  • Artistic Intervention: Andrés Sandoval
  • Structural Engineering: Esteng Estrutural Engenharia / Gerson Belli, Projecta Grandes Estruturas Ltda. / Hélio Ricardo Stefoni
  • Hydraulics and Electric Engineering: Gera Serviços de Engenharia S/S Ltda. / Alberto Assenção Pereira, Diogo Assenção Pereira
  • General Contractor: C.P.A. Engenharia e Construções Ltda. / Luiz Alberta Saretta Schwartz, Rafael Canto Porto
  • Area: 3000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Nelson Kon

© Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon

From the architect. Density and Void

The city of São Paulo is marked by a dense occupation which blurs the perception of both its original topography and a few unoccupied spaces, especially those defined and configured by the original site or by the geographic phenomena. One of the challenges for architects in this century should be the construction of the void as someone opening clearings and enabling new dimensions and spaces for living in our city. This housing edifice is inserted in such a thesis.


Construction of Topography

The edifice takes advantage of the rugged topography, a typical situation of the small valley that exists between Simpatia street, at the highest level,  and Medeiros de Albuquerque street, at the lowest level. It defines the project into two blocks; a superior and aerial one, which includes the housing structure,and another on inferior and rooted, which services and provides spaces for automobiles. Between these two blocks a free space and a free slab, accessed by a walkway, make it possible to look freely to the opposite side of the valley.

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

While hovering the lower courtyard, the crowns of fruit trees are at the level of those who circulate in the forecourt, which can be a treasure in this passage, grabbing a fruit where least expected.

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

Exceeding the glass door, the space does not close up but, it insists on staying open for the view and for a mirror pool, which marks the existing empty space in the middle of the edifice. In its extreme, a balcony for collective use of the residents opens up to the landscape, either for parties or gatherings, ending the tour while still allowing access to the swimming pool situated in the courtyard below.


Apartments as Expression of Residents

The apartments are actually empty spaces, open plans where residents can adapt the ambiences according to their needs and desires.

They are organized in two opposing blocks, Simpatia and Medeiros, with differentiated conformations and views, but both offer multiple forms of occupation, according to their users’ life needs. This diversity is expressed by the randomness of the openings of the north and south faces that mark the uniqueness of each apartment. On the east and west façades, glass plans in the full extension of the units mark the presence of the edifice in the urban landscape, flooding the environment with the internal light of the units.

Convivial Spaces

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

The vertical circulation block (stairs and lifts) between the two apartments opens onto balconies facing the inner void as spatial continuity of the forecourt. At each unit it enlarges and offers a gentle space to enter them. It is a space for encounter and coexistence.

Urban Kindness

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

On the lower courtyard the pool is dropped onto the ground, bordering the garden along Medeiros de Albuquerque Street. Once again, a relationship with the canopy of trees is established. Under this structure, with access on the basement, a laundry room opens onto the garden. Finally, along the street the edifice offers to the city – through the setbacks of border closure– a bench, a tree and a small square to the city: sincere “urban kindness”.

Implementing a housing edifice in such a place is a construction of topography and void. A drawing of "living in the city".

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Simpatia Street Housing / gruposp arquitetos" 18 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>