Goethe Na Vila

invited by Goethe Institute São Paulo



in cooperation with Vila Itororó Canteiro Aberto, São Paulo



Pictures by Raumlabor, Camila Picolo, Oficina São João, Vila Itororó


Video Goethe na vila

Vila Itororó

The Vila Itororó is an architectural ensemble of more than ten buildings created by Francisco de Castro over the course of the twentieth-century. The villa stands out for its unusual architecture in an urban Gap located on the banks of the Itororó Valley  between the district Liberdade and Bela Vista in the downtown of Sāo Paulo. It was declared an area of public interest in 2006 after being abandoned for a while. Where after it was expropriated and converted into public usage for cultural purposes.

„The process of restoration of Vila Itororó, now underway, has the potential to become a reference, a landmark, in initiatives for the recovery of the cultural heritage of the city of São Paulo“ – Luiz Fernando de Almeida


To keep the doors open during the restoration project, an integrated participatory process was started. The development was carried out via a two parallel processes. On the one hand, a temporary cultural center connected the progressive construction site with the surrounding neighbourhood. This included a space for cultural production such as collaborative carpentry, circus classes, guided historical tours etc… On the other hand, the site became part of a major research project, which involved former dwellers, neighbourhood residents, historians, sociologists, architects and builders. This way, the debate to imagine future uses was opened.

The Goethe Institut started an artist residency program and invited us to restore one of the houses; the Casa 8, which offered a two-year temporary residency program for young artists.




The restoration project of Casa 8 was carried out within the framework of a four week workshop mainly with architecture students collaborating with former residents. The workshop  was divided into several project groups. One group worked on the outdoor space directly related to the complex, the second group worked on the facade element, while the third group worked on the construction of a unique thinking space; the studiolo. As an addition, furniture elements and the construction of mobile kitchens were also developed.





The main space of the Casa 8 has an archway that opens onto the courtyard, framing the Vila Itororo. It was important for us to establish a spacially meaningful and flexible relationship between the building and courtyard. Taking inspiration from vernacular Brazilian cobogó masonry systems and more contemporary precedents such as Lina Bo Bardi’s Sesc Pompeia, the gate features a wood lattice construction that allows for ventilation and an extraordinary quality of light. The workshop group in charge of the gate’s construction went on to design and build a wood cladding system.



Inspired by the Renaissance concept of the studiolo, we included a special room in the residency: a space for meeting, contemplation, concentration, and self-emancipation. Its form is derived from the unique space in which it sits, but the studiolo is distinguished from its historical context; it appears as a new layer, protruding from the old windows, inviting visitors to consider the future.




Studiolo were used as a music studio for the residency of „Home Lab – Experimentação sonora e visual“

Terrace & Sun Shading


An exterior courtyard links the Casa 8 to the Vila. Once again drawing from vernacular tradition, the workshop participants were invited to design the paving using local bricks. The sun-shading was made to be light and flexible: the bamboo-and-textile roof can slide open and closed. The kitchen was comprised of welded steel elements that worked as a both modular and mobile system. Due to the diversity of artistic programs that the residency accommodates, it was important to create a useful space without making it a static one.

We also head a furniture workshop, in which participants learned to build a loungechair with baker crates.

Workshop Participants


Goethe na Vila – Residency 2017




Home Lab – Experimentação sonora e visual – March 2017

Casa na Bela vista – February 2017

Arquiteturas sonoras – April 2017