Last edited 13 Jan 2021

Arapiraca, Sao Paulo


In May 2017, Triptyque Architecture completed a new residential building in Vila Madalena district in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The main objective of the architects was the integration of the residential complex with its context - a neighborhood of old houses, close to bars and restaurants - to create a ‘natural dialogue’.

To achieve this, they split the complex into eight randomly-distributed blocks, each with an independent access, and positioned to give the best views and optimised ventilation and daylighting. A ninth block contains lifts and stairs, and access to metallic footbridges.


The result is a configuration of apartments allowing for privacy equivalent to independent houses. With generous terraces and a wide ceiling-height, the units vary from studio to triplex and can have a number of different layouts.

The memory of Vila Madalena appears in the choice of coatings. The predominance of projected concrete - a rough and rustic material, almost primitive, in a graphite colour - is a reference to the finish of the old buildings of the district.


History also appears in the use of ceramics, a reference to the Portuguese, the first immigrants who occupied the region. The blue and white azulejos, a tribute to the artist Athos Bulcão, cover all internal facades. Smooth and reflective, they give life to the facades while illuminating the centre of the ground.

Vegetation plays a central role in the project, whether in the plants attached to the walkways, or the ground floor, where the green density creates an ‘urban forest’ under the building.


Content and images courtesy of Triptyque Architecture.

Images © Fernando Guerra.

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