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Harmonia_57

Triptyque Architecture

Harmonia_57
By Lucy Bullivant -

While the imperative to create sustainable architecture remains an urgent priority, new buildings with an architectural identity that grows over time are relatively rare. Normally technical systems with an ecological functionality are invisible, as they largely exist to regulate. The aesthetic natural addition of the vertical garden to buildings is becoming more common in many cultures, but now we are beginning to see in the experimental work of architects such as R&Sie and EcoLogic Studio serious attempts to bring together the notion of structure, natural systems and growth, and function. The architectural practice Triptyque, founded in Paris in 2000 by a Brazilian woman - Carolina Bueno - and three Frenchmen - Grégory Bousquet, Olivier Raffaelli and Guillaume Sibaud, recently created such an anticipatory architectural experiment. After winning an invited competition to renew the National History Museum in Rio de Janeiro, they migrated to the city the following year. They moved a second time, to São Paulo, in 2002, retaining an office in Paris. Feeling at home in this racially diverse city of 19 million inhabitants, they began work on a modest scale, studios for a photographer and a tv station, apartments and a villa extension, before gravitating to government and commercial buildings, housing, a library, offices and the Cultural Institute of Inhotim in Minas Gerais, a museum in an environmental park.
Today, for all its economic dynamism, Saõ Paulo has serious crime problems, high air and water pollution, congested roads and a lack of public transport infrastructure and services. A saving grace is the vibrancy of street life, lushness of vegetation and architectural heterogeneity. Vila Madalena, for example, is a bohemian quarter in the district of Alto de Pinheiros on the west side of São Paulo, where students like to live with a high concentration of bars, clubs, artists’ studios, galleries and boutiques. Here in 2008 Triptyque completed Harmonia 57, a...

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