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Project strip-1.jpg


Studio professors: Ana Rolim & Robson Canuto

Project authors: Daniel Victor e Octávio Marcelo

In early 2000s the Recife/ Olinda Cultural Tourist Complex urban plan, a partnership between local agencies, the municipality of Recife and various consultants, proposed that a branch of the Guggenheim Museum (GM) should be planned for the city of Recife, as part of a series of initiatives to revitalize its waterfront and old port area established in 1600s.


Our studio reactivated this idea and asked students to design a new GM in a monumental warehouse located at the North end of Bairro do Recife, the city’s oldest neighborhood and former port. Departing from critical analysis of museum circulation typologies and morphological analysis of the site, the students worked in pairs to produce several physical and digital models, and drawings. The proposal shown here relies on the reinterpretation of the scale and fluidity of the “sugar dunes” found in the site during visit.


The goal was to preserve the memory of the warehouse and the port culture. By studying the material composition of sugar particles, and how they interact with each other, students created a very responsive and visitor-engaging form.

Overall view of the project

Project site in the oldest neighborhood of the city of Recife, NE Brazil

Location plan in Old Recife Neighborhood, where the city actually started in 1537

The sugar warehouses are located in a now considered a top security location, which represents a large obstacle to development in the Northernmost end of the island

Experiments with sugar as part of the form-generating process

Process digital model

Isometric view of the complex

Process physical model

Process model

Process model

Section AA

Interior view if the main atrium

Cross section CC

Interior view

Overall view from the water

Detail of CLT structure and its anchorage

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