An abandoned neo-brutalist skeleton gets a new life in São Paulo, its sixties-era exposed-concrete frame having been judged too foreboding. Instead, the architects reclad the 17-storey, 9,444-square-metre one-time residential tower in business casual and converted it into an office building. The new interior’s sparse material palette of wood and glass, its clean lines and its open spaces blend into a crisp yet cozy minimalism. This breezy feel eschews convention. For instance, the office tower floors have outdoor balconies, relics of the structure’s previous function. Scrums in common areas with low-back, comfy armchairs and coffee tables, moreover, evoke living-room gatherings rather than break-out meetings. Uma caipirinha, alguém?
Project Bauman Corporate Retrofit Location São Paulo, Brazil Firm Studio Arthur Casas, Brazil Team Arthur Casas with Gabriel Ranieri, Regiane Khristian, Beto Cabariti, Luciano Sessa, Deborah Branca, Nathália Minas, Marcelo Beretta, Victória Chaves and Manuela Girardi
In a complete break from the traditional, book-centric typology, a team led by Amsterdam’s Civic Architects converted a 1932 locomotive hangar in the city of Tilburg into a 21st-century library: a mixed-use and multi-functional venue that’s inclusive and curatorial rather than hush-hush and archival. Although there may still be quiet nooks for reading in the new facility, its soaring 15-metre ceilings give the single-volume space a sense of being in a great public hall or covered square. A grand stairway leads to the second and third floors, each of which is set back from the one below it. Six changeable textile screens hang from rails and help with the acoustics. The librarians can also operate them to subdivide and reconfigure spaces as required by each day’s programming.
Project LocHal Public Library Location Tilburg, the Netherlands Firms Civic Architects (the Netherlands), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau (the Netherlands), Inside Outside (the Netherlands) and Mecanoo (the Netherlands)Team Gert Kwekkeboom, Ingrid van der Heijden, Jan Lebbink and Rick ten Doeschate with Angela Solis, Niels Boswinkel, Marco Alves, Joeri Sowka, Fernanda Romeu, Job Roos, Graeven and Emiel van Boxtel, Petra Blaisse, Laura van Santen, Peter Niessen, Francine Houben, Sander Hofman and Mark Wools Photo Stijn Bollaert