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Brazil is a young and megadiverse country in several topics. The historical process of occupation of its territory and the formation of its cities produced regional centralities, linked to economic development, in the spotlight of commodities production. As a result, one might see the concentration of cultural and professional resources in the big cities mostly located along the coast. Localities in the countryside, such as Frutal, the city in what its project is placed, would benefit from a greater urban quality resulting from an architecture capable of capture and translate the richness of historical and cultural aspects of its people and the natural resources of its lands.
Frutal is a hub for agricultural activities, producing crops, fruits as pineapples, and holding huge potential for sustainable small farming and alternative honey, for example. Agriculture is a sector that requires investments in sustainable techniques and technologies. Producers, consumers, and investors own to nature a contribution to developing a low carbon economy, environmentally responsible. Education and technological innovation are huge allies on this path and require adequate spaces for hosting modern pedagogy and research.
Frutal is right in the nest of headwaters and springs, forming ecosystems called Veredas that function as Oasis for wildlife in the Brazilian savannah, Cerrado and its overlapping transition to the Atlantic Forest and Pantanal, all of them threatened biomes in Brazil. The importance of Veredas preservation is one of the key concepts for the retrofit proposal as a sign that agriculture and nature are not opposed. That was highlighted at the City of Waters Campus (Unesco), a Jaime Lerner’s project not concluded yet.
By retrofitting an abandoned building in Frutal downtown, the proposal creates an educational center for sustainable farming fostering the idea of harmony between food production and nature conservation. The use of certified materials and responsible equipment, such as solar panels and water reuse system, combined with minor remodeling inside, improves natural light and fresh air flow inside, reducing the temperature, improving circulation, and promoting healthier environments.
Externally, an independent metallic structure combined with a brick panel creates a shading element for east and north walls. The east face receives glued laminated timber rounded elements inspired on hives of the bees and wasps, common in the region and key for pollination, bringing the idea of community, collaboration, and the hard work of the small ones. This reference is repeated in the furniture and floor elements all over the building, especially on the open rooftop and the ground floor connected to the plaza right in front.
The restaurant on top invites for relaxation by the flow of the recirculation water system compounded by a waterfall that runs over a glass skin being collected in the ground floor to be treated, alluding to the water cycle and highlighting the importance of Veredas in recharging the aquifers and rivers of the region. The entire concept is to create independent new structures that embrace the old construction as modern agriculture must embrace the nature that embraces the entire humanity.
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