Favela neighborhoods in main cities of Brazil are marginal areas of houses rejected by the rest of the population as they are linked to drugs, gang war, prostitution, poverty, dirt and filth. Negative connotations to these neighborhoods have been constructed by the society since their boom in the 1990s. In Sao Paulo the detachment from these areas is outstandingly present by the use of walls to separate them from the rest of the urban fabric. Among the higher and middle class Paulistanos the ‘Favela’ is a taboo place, an unfamiliar world alien to them and physically separated from their daily lives. They steer away from this dark hidden side of the city, enabling any possible connection .

However this negative image of the ‘Favela’ can be progressively transformed creating a new one. The boundaries that separate both worlds can be partially turned down integrating part of the favelados everyday activities with the rest of the city. A platform to portray themselves to the city is needed to break the boundaries created as well as an integration of them into Sao Paulo’s cultural life. Cultural programs and local facilities will catalyze the re-construction of these boundaries, physically, socially, and economically as a ‘purification’ machine or factory. The development of a block working as a platform and secure social blender placed at the boundary line between these two worlds could bridge the two worlds together and help transforming the informality to a new formal appearance within the context of the city.

The block will create a new centrality within the fragmented favela neighbourhood, pulling the adjacent contradictory contexts towards its core, stimulating a new sense of commonness within the urban fabric. Voids or public pockets of Sao Paulo is condensed into this block, re-scaled and intensified, generating a new highly charged common land which is almost non-existence in the favelas.

Depiction Re-constructed

Reconstructing the negative perception linked to the people that lives in the favela into an alternative, positive images.

Paraisopolis : A Fragmented Disparity

Block Iterations

Clustered Program

Activated Ground

A new public gathering space is activated within the fragmented favela neighbourhood, giving a new sense of centrality.

Physical Test / Experimental Model


Ground Plan + Platform Plan

Mega Section

The Block vs Favelas

Hanging Factory : A Cloud of Chaos