The Corujas building, located in Vila Madalena, is an office building of several sizes and shapes. The proposal for this structure was to create a more human space for work, as opposed to the traditional mirrored glass cubes located in areas of São Paulo, such as Faria Lima or Berrini Avenue. The height limit of buildings in the location of only nine metres led us to a horizontal solution.
The starting point for the project was the desire to create an architecture that would enable the offices to have, alongside closed areas, generous porch spaces for outdoor meetings and their own private gardens. In order to do so, we integrated elements such as garden ceilings, large glazed façades, generous dimensions and rather unconventional porches. The units located on the ground floor are offices with a double ceiling height, taking advantage of the natural slope of the land. The visitor arrives through a mezzanine and can go downstairs to the main working area, where there is the porch and its private garden at the back. The structures on the ground floor have a volume that we call a “basement”, which is wider than the rest of the construction and is wrapped in wood. The upper floors are smaller, and in these parts we have opted to make the precast concrete structure visible. On the intermediate floor, the metallic structure is painted in white. Over the basement areas there are garden ceilings, which are the private gardens of the first-floor offices. The large porches, either with a single or a double ceiling height, rise among the units, in between the precast pillars. The top floor has the same porch system as the lower floor, but these porches have metallic stairs with independent access to the rooftop. This rooftop works as the private garden ceiling of each one of the units on the second floor, enabling even the highest floors to enjoy their own gardens.
The building has many living areas, bicycle racks, communal changing rooms and even a café, so that users can meet each other and also work in the communal areas, almost creating a microcommunity. It is completely the opposite of modern office buildings, which segregate their users from each other.
Construction is another interesting aspect of this building. Even though it is an office building of the highest standard, it was conceived as a precast concrete structure, which is visible from almost all around the construction. It is a way of saying that precast material can be as interesting as any other. There are also large parts that are a metallic structure, also visible, which make the intermediate floor surprisingly light. That metallic structure, together with the casements, flooring, ceiling with large openings and light metallic louvres, constitutes a sort of kernel, with a transparent filling of the precast structure that can be viewed from the street by the visitor, so that the dynamics of what is happening inside the building is part of the neighbourhood’s daily life.