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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.90 Santiago ago. 2015 

Demountable structures

Cota 10

Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brazil


Pedro Varella*(1)
* Founding partner, GRU.A, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Antiques fair under viaduct, 2010
© Pedro Varella

© Pedro Varella

© Rafael Salim

The demolition of the elevated perimetral viaduct is one of the symbolic actions that represent the transformation process that Rio de Janeiro is currently undergoing. Built between the 1950s and 1970s, the structure remained standing for half a century until its demolition in April 2014. Even though its destruction was widely spread and used as a political argument, little is said about the requalification of the spaces generated in its place.

The project COTA 10 arises in the context of the artistic occupation exhibition titled Permanências e destruições, which occupied different places in the city between January and February 2015. Through the construction of a temporary structure, the project proposes a space of reflection regarding the demolition of the elevated viaduct at Plaza XV, place where thousands of people arrive each day on the ferries and boats that cross the Guanabara Bay.

The proposal consists of a staircase built out of scaffolding structures, which leads the public to a platform raised 10 meters above the ground level of the square, the same height of the inexistent platform of the elevated viaduct. The use of scaffolds for the structure and every other element (stairs, platforms and railways) guaranteed the low cost of the project by reusing the pieces from other temporary constructions into the composition of new ones, while allowing the assembly of the complete structure in only 36 hours. The structure is located right where a column that supported the viaduct once stood. Thanks to COTA 10 it was possible to contemplate and experience the square like never before: as a still body in opposition to the velocity of the former raised highway. 

Up: Floor plan ±0 m. Published scale 1: 200
Down: Ground level +10 m. Published scale 1: 200

Left: AA Section. Published scale 1: 200.
Right: BB Section. Published scale 1: 200

Detail 1. Published scale 1: 25
Legend: 1. 1 ton concrete block; 2. 2.5 m long piece of solid Wood, 2" × 10", resting directly on the floor; 3. Galvanized steel screw for regulation of vertical tubular structure Ø 1 ½" 4. Horizontal tubular structure prefabricated on galvanized steel Ø 2"; 5. Vertical tubular structure prefabricated on galvanized steel Ø 2"; 6. Stainless steel rope; 7. Precast beam h= 50 cm; 8. Cross small beams h= 7 cm; 9. Plywood floor coating with melamine; 10. Tubular railing prefabricated on galvanized steel structure Ø 2".

Architects: Gru.A. Pedro Varella / Associated architects: Caio Calafate, Sergio Garcia-Gasco / Contributors: Julio Parente / Location: Praça XV, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil / Request: Artistic exhibition Permanências e Destruições / Curator: João Paulo Quintela / Structural design and construction: MVD. Osmar Dutra / Date of project and construction: 2015 / Materials: Tubular prefabricated structure on galvanized steel / Floor area: 50 m² / Cost: US$ 90/ m²

1. Pedro Varella | Architect, Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro, Brazil. Master (c) in Architectural Theory and Criticism at the PROARQ, Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro, Brazil. Coauthor of Rio Metropolitano: guia para uma arquitetura, published in 2013. Founding partner of GRU.A.

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