Advanced Design Studio: Bald/Birmann


Project Description

The outskirts of Brasilia present a unique problem. Designed by Lucio Costa only 50 years ago, the city center has become a living monument that hampers development by refusing growth. The studio focused on learning from Brasilia’s missed urban opportunities and proposed to design a new urban spine. This project explores how one of the blocks of this refashioned city would function both locally and within the larger proposed master plan.

Influenced by Brasilia’s modernist architecture as well as vernacular building types, this project explores a more connected way of urban living.
The architecture seeks to create a city center teeming with life and energy. The plan is divided by a commercial strip that supports the residential component. In the center of the residential housing is a semi-private courtyard with facilities to accommodate the needs of the residents.  The undulating façade and landscape create pockets of privacy to allow for intimate social interactions that foster the culture present in the city.  The building is clad in a combinations of rich dark woods contrasting heavily against the stark white of the smooth stucco finish.  This treatment reflects local building practices and plays off the large Brazilian pines that are characteristic of the area. 

The residential block is composed of series of buildings which function individually but are also linked through a continuous passageway. Each building is composed of townhouses in the lower level and topped by apartments. The block is a unified mass composed of smaller pieces, which act independently while being linked together.