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BELO JARDIM CULTURAL SQUARE: A public space for a town in NE Brazil

Design team: Ana Rolim and Vera Freire (coletivo-rt), Isac Filho and Gustavo Tenório (Adpt design), and Juliano Dubeux Arquitetos Associados.

1st Prize Winner Zenildo e Zildo Caldas Award by the Brazilian Institute of Architects, Pernambuco Chapter - Category: Urbanism, Planning and Cities

In a 48-hour marathon, called “Belo Jardim Cultural”, three offices from the city of Recife interacted with inhabitants of different ages and professions in the municipality of Belo Jardim and discussed expectations for a new square in the city.


Coordinated by a digital innovation group and funded by a local company, the initiative aimed to donate a public space to the city. During the event the population pointed out as their predilections to sit, to see nature, to play and to have a place for selfies in the square. According to them, these aspects would mitigate the insecurity and lack of zeal common to similar public spaces.


Along with the preliminary design spatialization, overall guidelines were collectively established: to create a space for integration between the square and the surrounding neighborhoods; to promote a sense of security, to generate shading; to connect the square to neighboring cultural facilities and to produce urban furniture that would combine digital fabrication with the participation of master artisans in the region. These pieces would be assembled by the community.


The designers' feedback to the people of Belo Jardim led to minimal adjustments, followed by the construction drawing set, which included: connecting axles, umbrellas, multifunctional porticos, open soccer court, interactive septum and areas for leisure and permanence. With phase 1 completed to date, the project has created a living public space in the heart of the city, with the landscaping marked by the presence of resilient local species.

More about the 1st Prize Winner Award by the Brazilian Institute of Architects, Pernambuco Chapter - Category: Urbanism, Planning and Cities can be found at IAB/PE.

Click here for a video of the project.

Overall view of the space located in the heart of the city. Photo: Jeferson Beloc

A design marathon generates the proposal

Overall project idea: a cultural and educational public space

Likes and dislikes of city dwellers regarding public squares

Strategies resulting from design marathon

Diagrams showing the implementation of main axes, green areas and equipment

Aerial view highlighting the layout based on main urban axis

The space in the urban context working as a connector of surrounding neighbourhoods. Photo: Jeferson Beloc

Detail of main axes. Photo: Jeferson Beloc

Local resilient species mark the landscaping. Photo: Ana Luisa Rolim

Top view emphasising the main axes connecting different areas of the square. Photo: Jeferson Beloc

Kids' play area. Photo: Jeferson Beloc.

Interactive divider invites users to have fun. Photo: Ana Luisa Rolim

The limits between spaces are well defined and permeable. Photo: Ana Luisa Rolim

Longitudinal section across the square.

Main axis with locally produced red clay tiles and bamboo screening

View through gabions from playground area

Locally sourced wood and steel canopy with sculptural fence in the back

The sculptural fence transforms a barrier into a playful, inviting element

Typical canopy + gabion module

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