Alvaro Puntoni; João Sodré
When researching the work of these architects, we were struck by the clarity of GrupoSP’s school in Votorantim, outside São Paulo, Brazil. Positioned at right angles to the street, the organisation divides the programme into two parts while a ramp connects the landscape into the building and is itself the landscape of the school. The sports facility is embedded in the heart of the complex as well as being carved into the ground. Timber slats form an outer layer that protects from the sun. Keeping the ground free, space flows beneath their SEBRAE Headquarters (Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises) in Brasilia, which is a type of campus organised around a square into which the public functions face. The building is wrapped in adjustable metal sunscreens.
GrupoSP’s Biennale presentation is entitled Unnamed Spaces, where they share remarkable spaces of architecture that are sources of inspiration to them. Searching for connections within the FREESPACE manifesto, they intertwine a selection of eight of their projects, dating from 2004 through to 2017, with the works of Oscar Niemeyer, Lina Bo Bardi, Roberto Burle Marx, Vilanova Artigas and Paulo Mendes da Rocha.