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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.

Planned City of Palmas in Tocantins, Brasil by Urban Recycle Architecture Studio

August 11th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Urban Recycle Architecture Studio

As the capital and geographic center of the State of Tocantins, Palmas, has much to teach Brazil. Nationally known for its natural beauty, urban planning and economic potential, Palmas is growing in all directions at high speeds in comparison to its neighbors. The wide avenues and well-designed gardens make tourists and travelers fall in love with this beautiful “piece” of Brazil. As one of the fastest expanding cities in Brazil and with bold modern design this city has become, in 20 years, one of the most beautiful and best equipped in the north. Designed to “bring people together”, Palmas grows according to estimates of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the population growth of over 110% in 2008 compared with the population in 1996 to 86,116 inhabitants an estimated 184,010 inhabitants as well as higher economic growth compared to the national average.

Planned City of Palmas (Image Courtesy Urban Media)

  • Architects: Urban Recycle Architecture Studio
  • Project: Planned City of Palmas
  • Location: Palmas, Tocantins, Brasil
  • Team: Diego Viana Gomes, Juliana Meira Araujo Aguiar, Saul Kaminsky, Bernfeld Oliveira, Susan C. George
  • Year: 2011
  • Situation: Honorable Mention of the Competition
  • Images: URBAN MEDIA
  • Software used: Sketchup, Rhino 3d (pannels design), Autocad and Photoshop

Planned City of Palmas (Image Courtesy Urban Media)

Growth aside, the above data are just numbers, when not linked to social development. Like any growing city, Palmas also has problems “at home”. However, it has differentiated itself from other cities of the same size and even more through an infallible weapon: strategic planning. Palmas is a city for planning, an intelligent characteristic that adds to the development of the municipality.

Interior Final (Image Courtesy Urban Media)

The strategic planning of the city of Palmas, while in the search for expansion of urban space, often creates a certain peculiar urbanization compared to other Brazilian cities, such as in the topography of the land available for development of the IAB-To. It’s unusual for architects, who work in densely built metropolis, to design in a “loose” environment without references incorporated or pre-set aesthetic guidelines. The terrain of the project, in theory, represents everything that architects and builders like the most, “the new”.

Auditorio (Image Courtesy Urban Media)

An area of 50 x 22m, in a corner space and covered by vegetation, offers the architect a “strange” setting, and yet provides great potential. For the development of this proposal, we decided initially to observe the space around the natural terrain and analyze its relationship with the environment; its colors, textures and climate. Following the announcement made available, it was proposed to have abuilding with total area of 3.780m ² developed in different stages of construction, all fast execution, ordered to the program, within the standards of accessibility, comfort, with environmental and eco-efficiency. The focus of the project sought to establish a relationship between the most economic and functional way to allow the building to be expanded, in order to allow for the program set, without any disfigurement or loss of effectiveness.

Planned City of Palmas (Image Courtesy Urban Media)

Dynamic space
The program and the phases determined in the regulations for the development of the building is incorporated into two blocks. The first predominantly horizontaand the second predominantly vertical structural system with the garages integrated with both. The vertical block with the main facade facing the corner of Alameda Street 17 to the Teotônio Segurato is designed to accommodate the program needs of the 1st, 3rd and 4th stages of construction. It is also the main axis of vertical movement containing 2 elevators and capacity for 4 to 6 bathrooms. The second block, facing the corner with Alameda Street 2 to Teotônio Segurato is designed to accommodate the program of the auditorium with fixed capacity of 160 people with the possibility of expansion of another 30 seats, a room for translation, complete studio, sound booth, deposit, four multi-purpose rooms (built to the 2nd floor of the office tower), foyer, backstage and small space for receiving and break-room (integrated to the 2nd floor of the office tower). The integration of the two blocks is established through the foyer and lounges arranged on two floors (ground and first) with facades facing the central atrium and Alameda 17 accessed via stairs or elevators at the reception.

Acess diagram

Design of the building
Interesting and uniquely shaped, the building was designed to meet the various points made in the announcement, such as: compliance with all relevant government and to the requested program; possibility of expansion, environmental comfort and energy efficiency, sustainable use of parameters such as rain water harvesting and use of materials with low environmental impact such as steel, wood and OSB and BriseSoleis of terracotta; use of cross ventilation and natural lighting.

Climatte diagram

The starting point for the design of the building process was the understanding of climatic factors in the region as the predominant “insolejamento” and ventilation. After the search for understanding of local climate characteristics, it was chosen to build a lobby with semi-U and pool of water, directing the southeasterly wind past the pool which absorbs heat from the air and forcing it up through the building above (see the system side).

Diagram constructiion

Constructive Techniques / Materials
The project was set in two blocks of similar construction, with metal structural system and low maintenance easy to perform. Foreign Matter – For the exterior of the building was used a two-step closing mixed provided with frames with low-E glass, concrete blocks (H = 90 cm), wire rack and terracotta panels in orange, blue and green (see detail ) providing security, ventilation and comfort. Interior Materials – Walls in dry-wall, cement blocks, ceiling and furniture in wood industrial base in white painted OSB floor, providing high visual comfort and easy maintenance and modification to the layout as needed. Predominantly pastel shades and lamps override value of 250 x 15cm space and provide a comfortable interior environment.

Diagram of colors

Energy efficiency and environmental comfort
The building has several elements designed with sustainable technologies for better energy efficiency and thermal comfort, such as the use of a rainwater capturing system on the roof, to be used for cleaning and gardening areas, use of solar panels to reduce energy costs, and the use of plant coverings to reduce the interior temperature of the building. The large openings allowing for internal cross-utilization, natural ventilation, as well as provide access to natural light. Additionally, the use of a facade with brise-soleils is used for rain protection and reduction of direct sunlight, and the replanting of plant species in the vicinity of the site assisting in building micro-climates.


Identify and reflect
The idea of a building that is valued, reflecting the nature of the state of Tocantins and doesnt “offend” the neighborhood (even if one does not already exist) has been present since the beginning of the evolution of the building. The choice of a skin of Brises-Soleils in terracotta panels, 0.90 x 3.5m, subdivided into 5 parts with openings prototyped and intelligent design are seeking the most efficient thermal and visual comfort. It was decided that the color of the brises-soleils would represent nature of state of Tocantins, and as act as a symbol of the state park, Jalapão. Using similar tones and textures we opted for a palette of five colors: light and dark orange representing the color of the living earth, green represents the vegetation of the Tocantins and a light and dark blue representing the state of the beautiful sky. For the arrangement of the colored panels, an image Jalapão was pix-elated and the resulting configuration of colors were replicated through the panels of the building, harmonizing the neighborhood, enhancing the beauty of the Tocantins state and valuing the architecture.

First floor Plan

Urban Recycle Architecture Studio
In short, UR Studio is a young office, with intelligent and distinguished projects aimed at an audience with personality and good design, with a focus on architecture and contemporary design – from large urban planning to small design objects. With a forward thinking team, UR is rich in ideas and plans for unique projects. We believe that it is necessary to understand and respect the individuality of each project and every client. All of our projects are carried out with the expectation of no-nonsense commitment and innovative ideas.

Architects (Image Courtesy Urban Media)

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