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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Orchidarium Professora Ruth Cardoso in Villa-Lobos Park, Brazil by Decio Tozzi Architect

May 24th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

The orchidarium Professor Ruth Cardoso has its form inspired on the “habitat” of the africans, indigenous and pré-colombian’s cultures.

Orchidarium Professora Ruth Cardoso

  • Architects: Decio Tozzi Architect
  • Project: Orchidarium Professora Ruth Cardoso
  • Location: Villa-Lobos Park, Brazil

Orchidarium Professora Ruth Cardoso

The solutions for the domain and transformation of nature were studied to indentify the way to obtain diffuse illumination and permanent ventilation using constructive process and form suitable with thecnique used by these cultures.

Orchidarium Professora Ruth Cardoso

In this way the forms found in several Africans communities and indigenous Brazilians tribes, that use zenithal openings for the controlled entrance of light and permanent ventilation, made with soil, assume, through actual steel thecnology with glass and plastic transparent walls, a diaphanous hut form.


A leaked beam, in an arc shape, structure the model and propose the orchidarium scale offering the necessary air volume to the permanent air’s displacement, required to keep the orchid’s delicacy.

Exterior View

From both side of this leaked beam there are a sequence of curve frame-work supported on the ring of the semi-circular, locked by horizontals meridians that configure the quarter of sphere of the orchidarium’s form.

Exterior View

On one side the intersection of this metallic spherical structure make itself in the beam’s inferior architrave and on the other side in the beam’s superior architrave, enabling the air’s escape through the concrete master arc’s openings that has the permanent ventilation’s function.

Exterior View

Its implantation follows the pre-colombian habitat’s implantation lesson, found in Brasil, that used to bury half of the habitation to be protected from the strong wind, letting only the roofs outside.

Interior View

Similarly, in the Villa-Lobos Park, the Orchidarium’s level is 1,5 meters bellow the land line and the access is through a generous ramp since the entrance.

Interior View

This solution creates a foundation naturally, above 1,20 meters from the Park’s level, where lands the hut’s transparent form that configures the Orchidarium.

Interior View

Its scale integrates itself to the Park’s free space and relates, harmoniously, with the other Park’s buildings and the water’s tower.

Interior View

Thus the orchidarium’s design created as diaphanous hut, honors the Professor Ruth Cardoso as a contemporaneous expression of primitive cultures that as anthropologist she studied and as citizen she always defended.


Frontal Elevation

Lateral Elevation

Longitudinal Section


Posterior Elevation

Roof Plan

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