Natal, Brazil created a national competition for the design of an iconic Christmas Square. The objective of the competition, which was organized with the support of the Brazilian Institute of Architects and Rio Grande do Norte Department, was to develop a specific area of the city as a tourism attraction feature. zerOgroup, an international and multi-disciplinary firm, collaborated with Unique, a Brazilian architecture practice based in Manaus, to win the competition.
Further project description after the break.
The existing square is primarily used to display the world’s tallest Christmas tree (125-160 m). Currently, more than a third of the square is inaccessible while the tree is on display. zerOgroup + Unique’s proposal aims to ensure that the entire square is accessible throughout the year. A new structural icon for the city will be implemented in the square that will support the tall tree and create a new public area to attract visitors.
In the middle of the square, zerOgroup + Unique’s curved support allows for maximum use of public space. Its dematerialized skin will minimize the impact of the monumental structure on the direct surroundings. As the structure peels away from the ground, a new spatial condition is created around the base of the project. This shaded circular area will connect all social and leisure functions of the public space, such as handicraft markets, restaurants, bar, fountains, benches, and a stage for events.
The official ceremony will take place in Natal on June 9th, 2009 and zerOgroup + Unique expect the project to be completed by the end of this year.
Competition Team: Laurent Troost, Eduardo Flôrencio Quintella, Ivvy Quintella
zerOgroup was also featured on our site for their I Love Gitmo project.