SESC Pompéia - São Paulo - Brazil
This project used to be a factory complex, located in São Paulo, and was converted between 1977 and 1982 into a multi-purpose building by Lina Bo Bardi. It now contains a mixture of theatres, gymnasiums, a swimming pool, snack bars, leisure areas, restaurants, galleries, workshops etc.
In the mid seventies, an old factory for oil drums in Sao Paulo was not in use anymore, and the plan was to convert it to a recreational centre. Lina Bo Bardi stepped up, and decided to keep most of the complex the way it was, and preserve the characteristics of the site.
In order to keep the existing spatial qualities of the site, Lina’s approach was to freely place objects in the space. As an example, a thin structure of concrete divides the main hall into a library, exposition space and collective living room – with a fireplace and river running through them all. Mixing all groups of people within the City, this structure seems to invite everyone. It airs an openness in which all people are accepted and invited.
The actual building process was an experimentation in communal construction by different groups of neighbours within the area. With this steel barrel factory/”culture factory” conversion, Lina Bo Bardi revolutionized São Paulo’s attitude to its obsolete industrial estates.
[project selected by Ana Sevo]