Popular urban Brazilian civil construction, with the consolidation of precarious neighborhoods, executed with disposable material, has specialized in the building of that which is called “puxadinhos” (annexes), small enlargements that fill all the empty spaces of the small urban lots. The formal city has incorporated this culture and has suggested, in the ever-new Latin-American cities, a program for architecture: building on the already-built.
The Store Micasa Volume B is an annex, a “puxadinho” of a previously-existing store. A small tunnel connects the entrance to the Micasa annex with the showroom of the initial store. The annex interior ground plan is a large span, conceived to configure an ample and dynamic area to house the VITRA showroom, which Micasa sells. The store was built using rustic material and rustic executions. Micasa Volume B recalls the artisan processes of popular civil construction, and, above all, the modern Brazilian buildings, brutalist projects in a brutalism reinvented south of the equator, attentive to the local knowledge. The façades of the store were made in a not-very-common manner using exposed reinforced concrete: the outward appearance of the material, generally done very precisely with new lumber, is used here randomly, chaotically, and some wood was not even removed after curing. The project was complemented and recreated in the worksite itself and many of the solutions used were decided at the work site, with the builders taking part in the creative process. In that way, the brises-soleil in the offices were made with a metalic net of reinforcing bars used for the concrete. This delicate steel lace, placed vertically, function as light filters in the large windows. The external pebbles are made from the crushed rock used to produce concrete. The memory of the construction remained, in an exposed archeology of the building: the “x’s” of the tape on the new windows and, on the inner walls, the workers’ notes on the project. These walls have no revestment, no paint: a raw texture of the material provides the finishing. The finalized building, beginning with the use of these materials, delicately displays the constructive phases; they are x-rays of the entire project and the work site, marks of the building’s recent history that, with the passing of time, have been added on to the always-new cities of the southern hemisphere.
Architecture: studio mk27—marcio kogan + bruno gomes. Photography: nelson kon