title. Teaching Unit Federico Soriano

date. 2013

city. Sao Paulo, Brasil

descriptionDuring the fall semester of 2013 of my undergraduate studies I went as a visiting student to the Higher Technical School of Architecture in Madrid (ETSAM), Department of Architecture of the Universidad Politecnica in Madrid. The workshop I attended, led by the Architect and Theorist Federico Soriano, consisted of an intervention in the favela Paraisopolis in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The assignment was to develop a detailed investigation of the operation of favelas and the behavior and activities carried out by people living there in order to establish an appropriate architectural design.

The first exercise in the workshop had each student work with 10 different plots within the favela. We had to consider a particular type of intervention in order to make each building work as a programmable space. In other words, we had to create a space that would be functional for any type of activity. In this way, the architecture would survive and be viable for years to come.

In order to continue with the second phase of the project, our professors distributed different sectors inside the favela to each student. The sectors had shared areas with neighboring sectors, and the challenge was to negotiate with each one, based on its needs and interests, to determine the different parameters and limits of each sector of land that bordered the sector we were assigned.

Based on the results obtained from the border negotiations, certain obligatory topics arose by the time we started the design inside the particular sector given to us.

The workshop worked in a vertical manner. This exercise was performed with students of studio VII, VIII and IX. However, each level had different objectives that  complemented the other teams’ work.

In studio IX we had to create a building with a program for only one user and develop a counter-program that would give it meaning, completing it with a minimum design area.

In my case, I proposed, as a single user program, a rehabilitation center for one of the favela’s criminals, and as a counterprogram, a rehabilitation center for all the abused women in the favela.