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projects ISSN 2595-4245


Com o tema Fazendo Cidades, a 5ª Bienal Internacional de Roterdam em parceria com a SEHAB-SP desenvolveram um trabalho urbanístico tendo como local de teste a região do Cabuçu de Cima. Aqui está o primeiro resultado desse projeto.

Under the aegis Making City, The 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam in partnership with SEHAB-SP developed an urban work on the test site área of Cabuçu de Cima. The first project result is presented here.

how to quote

FRANCO, Fernando de Mello; BRUGMANS, George. IABR Test Site São Paulo. Cabuçu de Cima. Projetos, São Paulo, year 12, n. 141.01, Vitruvius, sep. 2012 <>.

Cabuçu de Cima - the far north of São Paulo
direction Luiz Cesar Barata
fotography Fabio Knoll 

As the projects developed by the IABR and São Paulo’s Secretaria Municipal de Habitação (SEHAB) under the aegis of the 4th IABR: Open City for the Paraisópolisfavela progressed from drawing board to exhibition – on their sabbatical detour toward implementation – the two parties decided to prolong their collaboration. Their primary objective, in the words of ElisabeteFrança, SEHAB’s director, was '. . . to place the emphasis on the importance of urbanization projects for the “informal city”, whereby the latter should be seen not as an exception but as an area that should be integrated into the total urban fabric. Architects and planners are challenged to engage in a new relationship with the inhabitants of these less privileged areas and to find creative solutions that meet the demands of the twenty-first-century city.'

A perspective that fits in perfectly with that of the IABR.

The IABR appointed the architect Fernando de Mello Franco, along with his partners at MMBB Arquitetos, Marta Moreira and Milton Braga, as local curator. De Mello’s work focuses on the relationship between the way São Paulo’s infrastructure, primarily oriented toward industrial production, has evolved over the past century and the role this has played and continues to play in the functioning of the city for its residents. At De Mello’s initiative, the area of Cabuçu de Cima, on the north side of São Paulo, was selected as the Test Site. The area is representative, in the sense that it combines many typical urban problems and challenges – like informal urban development, serious water management problems, threatened ecological systems such as the Serra da Cantareira, the largest rainforest within an urban area in the world, and a deficient mobility network – even as it is positioned at the intersection of significant future developments. The Rodoanel, the new ring road, and its strategic position near the Guarhulos international airport mean that Cabuçu will become, even more than at present, the primary distribution centre for the northeast side of São Paulo, the side that connects this economic powerhouse with two other important players, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

How can the threats, the problems, the interests of the inhabitants and the socioeconomic opportunities be translated into one integral strategy? How can existing conditions serve as a strong basis for such a strategy? For as França puts it: ‘The idea that solutions come from the city itself is at the core of every intervention.’

The first results of this collaborative project are being presented in Rotterdam in and during the main exhibition, Making City, and subsequently in a second exhibition, FazendoCidade, in São Paulo, in the summer of 2012.

about the author

George Burgmans is the director of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and the Chair of Curator Team of the 5th IABR


Helena attended the Mediatour Building and Design, from 15 to 20th April 2012, she visited architectural and urban projects in some Dutch cities. The event was organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and Sara M. Cohen, head of the department for Political Affairs, Public Diplomacy and Culture of the Dutch Embassy in Brasilia, has invited the Vitruvius portal.

Nina Dalla Bernardina, attends FAU Mackenzie, she is responsible for the special edition of Projects review about the Netherlands. Patrícia Oliveira Lima, architecture student at Senac, collaborated in editing. Both are interns in Vitruvius portal.


141.01 urbanismo
how to quote


original: português

outros: english




141.02 equipamento cultural

Biblioteca Pública de Amsterdam

141.03 residencial

Floating Amsterdam

141.04 urbanismo


141.05 revitalização

Triâgulo Strijp S, Eindhoven

Jo Coenen and Ard de Vries

141.06 preservação

Zaanse Schans

Paul Meurs


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