|Sao Paulo, Brazil
When a young and successful entrepreneur consulted us about an architectural project for a new restaurant, we studied the site and presented him with a different proposal: instead of building a restaurant, to turn the lot into a small park, a pocket park, and offer it to the city, since São Paulo houses 18 million inhabitants and yet has very few leisure spaces within its 570 square miles. He agreed. And so was born Praça da Amauri.
Praça da Amauri is a 2,300 square-foot open space, bordered by two buildings and two streets, and located in a dense area of mixed land use, where residential and commercial units coexist side by side. The entrance to the park is Amauri St., a somewhat peculiar street dominated by low-rise buildings, almost exclusively occupied by restaurants. At street level, just like an extension of the sidewalk, the park looks most inviting to the passerby. Facing the back street, a building containing a coffee shop, toilets and a storage room closes that side of the park.
The park was envisioned as a place for relaxation, a place to sit down outdoors for a cup of coffee, a quick lunch, or just for some quiet time away from the hustle-bustle of São Paulo; yet it is also a place to meet friends, for a chat, or even to play games. A few benches, chairs and tables can be found through the park – tabletops, cast in granolith, display various gameboard patterns such as chess, checkers and backgammon.
Paved with brownish granite tiles, the park has two long sidewalls over which water flows down serenely. Some “Ipê” trees, indigenous to Brazil, complete the landscape with their vivid yellow flowers.
Open everyday from 8:00 am on, Praça da Amauri is lively throughout the day until midnight, when gates kept in a recess inlaid in the ground will raise to close it until the next morning.