subscribe
e-newsletter
digital edition
product info
advertise
Mcgraw Hill Construction
    Subscribe to GreenSource the magazine
of sustainable design: $19.95 for one year
comment

CASE STUDY:
Victor Civita Park

São Paulo, Brazil

An Eco-park Rises from the Ash: In São Paulo, the transformation of a brownfield into green space creates a model for landscape reuse and management in Brazil.

Davis Brody Bond Aedas

By Jimena Martignoni

What once served as a garbage incinerator now hosts the public for a variety of educational and leisure activities. Victor Civita Park occupies 3.1 acres in central São Paulo with the main objective of promoting and exhibiting sustainable design strategies, appropriate for a brownfield site that, after four decades of continuous activity, was deactivated in 1990.

Victor Civita Park, São Paulo, Brazil
Photo © Nelson Kon
Victor Civita Park, São Paulo, Brazil

Rate this project:
Based on what you have seen and read about this project, how would you grade it? Use the stars below to indicate your assessment, five stars being the highest rating.
----- Advertising -----

KEY PARAMETERS
Location: São Paulo, Brazil (Tietê river watershed)
Gross area: 130,000 ft2 (12,000 m2)
Cost: R$8 million (Brazilian Reals), $4.5 million (USD)
Completed: November 2008
Program: Museum, workshops, raised plaza, gardens, playground

Click on images to view larger
Temp./Dew Points   Precipitation  
Temp./Dew Points   Precipitation  

TEAM
Owner: Editora Abril and City of São Paulo
Architect: Davis Brody Bond Aedas; Levisky Arquitetos Associados (architect of record)
Landscape: Benedito Abbud Landscape
Engineers: Heloisa Maringoni - Cia. de Projetos (structural); Grau Engenharia (MEP)
Lighting: Franco e Fortes Lighting Design
Acoustical: Fernando Iazzetta
Environmental consultant: Carbone Engenharia and Resotec - Holcim Brasil
Construction manager: CMS Engenharia

SOURCES
STRUCTURAL SYSTEM: JB Artes Metálicas,
STEEL: Gerdau
MASONRY: Concryl
CONCRETE: Votoran-Votorantin Cimentos
Wood: Empório da Madeira and Temapark (decks) certified wood by IPT
ALUMINUM FRAMES WINDOWS: RFG Esquadrias de Almínio
GLASS: SF Vidros
Doors: Lavrasul and Jacunart
LOW-SLOPE SLABS: M3/SP Lajes
Paints and stains: SP PINTURAS S/C Ltda
METAL CEILING: Sul Metais
CEMENT: Votoram
Wall tile: Cecrisa
Plaster ceiling: Lafarge Gypsum
BATHROOM EQUIPMENT: Deca
EXHIBIT PANELS: Kojima
ELEVATORS/ESCALATORS: ELEVE do Brasil - Plataforma deficiente
INTERIOR AMBIENT LIGHTING: LUMINI Iluminação
EXTERIOR: Schréder do Brasil Iluminação; Soliton Eletrônica (LEDs)
MEP equipment: Sanhidrel
Exterior polypropylene raised floor: Levitare
WATER SYSTEM: Itubanaia´

In 2002, the city announced its intention to create a number of new parks in São Paulo, proposing this site as one of them. Establishing a partnership with Grupo Abril, a publishing house founded by Victor Civita, this public-private partnership became the first in Brazil involving urban parks. Hamilton Santos, director of Grupo Abril, remarked: “If we can transform an incinerator site into a green area, it means we can do the same with other neglected spaces.” Thus the project has served as a cornerstone for sustainable development in the city.

In 2006, a series of chemical studies of the site’s soil conditions indicated that contamination was too high for human occupation. The client then hired Levisky Arquitetos Associados, a local architecture firm to help. “When we started working on this project, there was no national legislation that would guide us on how to proceed,” remarked Adriana Levisky, director of the firm. Therefore, the first, and probably smartest decision Levisky made was to insist that the project be limited by the original public-private partnership agreement, preserving its original goals. The design team contacted Brazilian architect Anna Dietzsch, who heads the São Paulo office of New York-based firm Davis Brody Bond Aedas, to help develop a formal solution. Instead of a conventional approach, Aedas suggested converting the incinerator building into exhibition space, the surrounding land into gardens, and creating a raised deck for access, an inventive solution that preserved the site, allowing it to serve as a learning lab for the public.

The architects decided to minimize intervention in the 12,500-square-foot incinerator building, exposing and preserving the brick walls and concrete structure. Renovated to serve as a museum of sustainability, the first floor of the facility is used for permanent exhibitions with the second floor not yet occupied. A 20,750-square-foot deck of recycled Brazilian hardwood floats three feet over the contaminated soil, serving as the main organizing principle of the park. In addition to creating a safe distance between the contaminated soil and visitors, elevating the structure also preserved the site’s abundant rubber, eucalyptus, ficus, and fruit trees.

Transported from Brazilian rain forests, Ipê, Garapa, and Sucupira create the deck structure. The wood is so dense that it doesn’t require weather treatment, and a gray patina developed over time serves as an added layer of protection. The elevated platform establishes a main linear pathway that crosses the site with a long diagonal. It also creates a central plaza, generating secondary paths of varying sizes and forms that are shaped into gathering areas, overlooks, and seating that invite public use. When reaching the sides, the horizontal planes of the deck undulate upwards becoming fences, overhangs, and exhibit panels that explain the systems used in the park. In places, a series of “windows” have been cut out of the ramp’s vertical panels to allow viewing of the gardens.

In addition to existing trees, newly planted areas organized thematically recall fields of farmland in their arrangement. “I wanted the place to reflect agricultural concepts, with linear and geometrical patterns that farmers use to cultivate the land,” Dietzsch explains. Following this idea, various regional fruits, vegetables, and bulbs are planted in alternating strips. These include plants used for biomass, medicinal purposes, transgenic plants, and a vertical hydroponic garden.

Contributing to the eco-theme of the park, water collection and reuse are other key objectives. Developed by the landscape architect Benedito Abbud to separate the contaminated soil from the new soil, “The Tec-Garden consists of an elevated system of plates that create an impermeable surface for planting. Above the plaques, a geotextile blanket is laid for the soil. Holes drilled into the plaques accommodate tubes that transport water in both directions, irrigating the plants,” he explains. In addition, water from the restrooms is conducted underground to an ornamental pond adjacent to the museum where it is filtered for irrigation reuse.

Additional cultural and educational facilities include a covered amphitheater, renovation of an existing building for a 2,900-square-foot center for the elderly, and a 1,350-square-foot space where workshops on the subject of sustainability are held. Photovoltiacs were originally planned, but cut from the program due to cost.

Part of the “Plan of 100 Parks for the City of São Paulo,” the park’s importance to the city is unparalleled. “It establishes a public place for cultural activities, so few in São Paulo,” Mayor Gilberto Kassab affirms.

Jimena Martignoni is an architect and freelance writer living in Buenos Aires.

 

This article appeared in the May 2010 print issue of GreenSource Magazine.

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.

----- Advertising -----
Click here to go to product info Page
McGraw-Hill Construction

Search Sweets

Example: Building Products, CAD, BIM, Catalogs
Search
Reader Feedback
Most Commented Most Recommended
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Recently Posted Reader Photos

View all photo galleries >>
Recent Forum Discussions

View all forum discusions >>