For a long time, the Cine Theatro Brasil, built in 1932 in Belo Horizonte, was the biggest cinema in Brazil, and a cultural reference point for the city. The Art Déco building was constructed near to an important road intersection, close to two other iconic buildings, the Banco Lavoura, designed by Álvaro Vital Brazil in 1950, and the Banco Mineiro, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1953.
The recent transformation of the cinema into a cultural centre, with a dance floor on the old rooftop, implied significant changes to the internal space layout, and the subsequent creation of an “empty area” between the original stalls area and the floor of the new room. The proposal suggested by architect Carlos M. Teixeira of the Vazio S/A Arquitetura e Urbanismo studio redesigned this space and the concrete trusses that would have originally supported the building roof, so as to create a “functional” area, where events could be held.
The concrete trusses, now polished and exposed, are the structural framework of the new space, and are made well visible by a semi-transparent screen, which covers their upper part. The project reused the idea of a stepped roof, from the 1932 original architectural project, which inspired the timber tableaux installed between the supporting beams to create areas of varying heights.
Architect Carlos M. Teixeira described his project as an exercise of structural archaeology, aimed at breathing life into a new exhibition area, where actions and reactions would find their place to create new relationships with art, architecture, and the city.
Design: Carlos M. Teixeira
Collaborators: Leonardo Rodrigues, Daila Coutinho, Frederico Almeida
Place: Belo Horizonte, MG – Brazil
Images courtesy of Vazio S/A photo by Gabriel Castro