Cultural Centre Competition | Cabo Frio


The brief for this competition, located in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, required a sustainable proposal for a cultural centre of exhibitions and events able to host multiple events simultaneously.

Our first design strategy was to understand the site and the city of Cabo Frio. The region is known for its salt harvesting industry, as Araruama’s lake waters are hyper saline , the northeast winds are constant as well as the hours of solar exposure throughout the year, which ensures perfect conditions for salt extraction. The site itself is a landfill done in the 19th century for salt harvesting use, which led us to look into the salt evaporation ponds as spatial organizers.

Our second design strategy was the intention to reintegrate the plot to the urban fabric, as well as to bridge the city to the lake.

Our third design strategy was to respect the scale of the city, which consists in its majority of houses and low rise constructions, and propose a building that would not act as a monolithic block placed into the site, but would perform as a platform where landscape, circulation and programme would be interweaved.

Regarding the materials used in this proposal, considering the harsh conditions of the hyper saline water, together with a sustainable and economically reasonable brief, we opted for a structure in wood with prestressed beams capable of spanning up to 70meters, allowing the exhibition space to have the least pillars possible.

The intention of having different spatial qualities resulted in the use of wooden louvers and glass when transparency and ventilation was needed, and concrete (in the theater) where opacity was required.

  • Location

    Av.Wilson Mendes, Cabo Frio.

    Rio de Janeiro - Brazil.

  • Stage/Year

    Concept Design (competition entry), 2014

  • Team

    Renata Dantas

    Pedro Reche


    Akemi Tahara

    Carla Zollinger

  • Consultants

    Acoustics: Audium

    Landscape: Parnaso

    Strucure : Felipe Tavares

    Theater: Moca Gramacho