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Rocinha, Brazil, is one of the world’s largest slums with a population over 150,000 people. It is located in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro; a hillside the overlooks the city and the ocean.  In the 1930’s the Rocinha community emerged from the division of large farm fields and in the 1940’s and 1950’s it was the epicenter of illegal settlements with lack of regulation. The result is an area with a strong community bonds but without any infrastructure or security.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the “favelas” is the non-existent boundaries between public and private space. The unorganized construction creates residual spaces that are use by the residents for all kinds of community activities. Our intention is to design a high-rise building that will provide safe housing for the people while preserving these in-between areas.

The new structures will be 1600 feet tall and will provide affordable housing to thousands of new residents. Its infrastructure will support the entire community; with recreational, educational, and cultural amenities. The façade is composed by volumes of different typologies. Local artists will be invited to experiment on them and create a visual unity with a chaotic distribution of materials and colors. The building’s vertical circulation explores different possibilities for arrival and new ways of interaction for the community.

Designed by: Gustavo Utrabo, Juliano Monteiro, Pedro Duschenes and Thiago Valério Zandona

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