The primary condition for the first prize winning design of the new headquarters of Congresso Nacional dos Municípios (CNM) is the creation of a metropolitan area in line with the urban context of the city of Brasilia. Designed by Luis Eduardo Loyola and Maria Cristina Motta, the project is embodied along an axis in the form of a white metallic volume floating gently on a concrete basement. The transparency of the volume creates a special relation with their surroundings. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The action plan adopted for the design of the new building is based in some fundamental assumptions: the land use gives emphasis on integration of users with the built landscape; the organization / hierarchy of the ground floor should strengthen its function as the main local of convergence; preference for a clear and rational structural system that will guarantee speed and economy in construction; a sustainable building.
The arrangement of the built elements is a direct response to the distribution of the program in the site: the base contains all the public functions, spaces to house the external audience (the auditorium, foyer, support rooms) as well as living spaces (coffee); the foil has the administrative areas, meeting rooms and governing body; in the roof terrace there is the meeting rooms; finally, in the basement, is the garage and an annex to the technical areas, service and maintenance areas.
The design of the ground floor was the guiding principle of the proposal. We have created a square, slightly sunken in relation to the midlevel of the terrain, which unfolds on two levels and results in a new topography for the lot. On the ground floor, a reflecting pool guides the pedestrian towards the reception, giving access into the administrative areas. In a lower level, in the base, is the civic square from where you can access the auditorium. A staircase connects the two levels allowing the realization of events autonomously, without affecting the functioning of the administrative areas.
The design of the landscaping project sought primarily for the implementation of native biodiversity. We tried to create synergy between the plants and the building, thus creating a connection between the new construction and the natural environment. The ground floor has two purposes: it is both support for the settlement of the new set and an interface with the city.
The adopted constructive system reduces building costs, ensures speed of execution and maximum flexibility in interior layout. Structure, roof and finishing elements were rigorously modulated from multiples of 1.25 m. The metallic volume has a peripheral structure that results in a free pillar plan with maximum flexibility.
Infrastructure networks are distributed across ceilings, floors and shafts. The vertical circulation is concentrated in a central core dividing the plan into two major open areas. CNM requires an exemplary building regarding the management of natural resources. In this sense, the environmental management strategy is designed to offer answers concerning the main aspects of sustainability.
On environmental issues: increase the thermal performance of the building by reducing heat production with the use of an outer basin in the roof floor (reflecting pool); use of brise soleil protecting the office areas of direct sunlight incidence; air-ventilated façades; cross-ventilation in all areas allowing a reduction of air conditioning use; rainwater will be collected and directed to storage tanks and subsequently reused for irrigation and toilets; Extensive use of day lighting.
General social concerns and economic considerations: accessibility; responds to the basic needs of ergonomics; comfortable spaces that enable interaction between users and visitors; Modulation and use of industrial components streamlining work and reducing waste of materials; Choice of materials according to their life cycle and maintenance.
Architects: Luis Eduardo Loyola and Maria Cristina Motta Location: Brasilia, Brazil Collaborators: Ana Carolina Sumares, Luis Felipe da Conceição, Marcelo Ribas Structure: Kurkdjian Fruchtengarten Engineers and Associates Foundations: Mag Soils Engineers Associates Building Installations: MHA Engenharia Ltda Lighting Technique: Lux projects Landscaping: Acatu Contest Results: 1st place Date of Project: 2010