Project Description


Technical Data

Location: Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brasil

Type of Construction: Institutional

Site area: 250.000m²

Building area: 14.805m²

Project Beginning: 2015


Authors: Fernando Forte, Lourenço Gimenes, Rodrigo Marcondes Ferraz

Coordinators: Gabriel Mota, Luciana Bacin, Sonia Gouveia

Contributors: Adriano Soares, Daniela Zavagli, Fernanda Veríssimo, Wanessa Simoe, Rodrigo de Moura

Interns: Nara Diniz, Otávio Araújo, Yara Bello

The new IMPA is not just a set of buildings. It is a clear positioning of the growing role that Brazil is playing in the field of international mathematics. There is a strong political message: it must be bold but defensible; it should allow for interaction and encourage dialogue to be seen as a symbol of vigorous and high-level mathematics; and, finally, it must meet the desired functional requirements.

By continuing to push the envelope, Jacob Palin knows that he is putting much at risk. As bold decisions often end in failure, they also do reap greater rewards than those decisions made in pure certainty. Uncertainty is a powerful research tool and a major driver of innovation. We take risks in this project, and the main one was transgressing the concept of the project: transforming a huge building complex into a great sculpted landscape, and we think this is the right path to take. It is dialogue (and not a merger) between construction and nature that creates a hybrid scenario where each element has its own identity, but both are closely related. These buildings could not be built anywhere else. At the same time, they must not be required to be hidden in nature. Similarly, Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful example of a symbiotic relationship between landscape and construction, which has resulted in one of the most spectacular cities in the world.

The objective of this project is to join, through simple guidelines, a complex program and an exuberant natural setting. At the same time, the design of this project must be conscious of bureaucratic and legal obstacles that may present unnecessary delays in the approval process. It must also permit flexibility for future construction or remodeling. Another important aspect of our approach is the emphasis on the building joints. A system with two axes will connect the main programs with each other well, o¦ering spacing, simplicity and clarity. Through this, we will maximize the amount of interaction between the users of the space in order to promote opportunities for collaboration and discussion. These encounters would occur in generously open spaces that are ventilated, filled with blackboards and o¦er comfortable seating and magnificent views.

Contact with the surrounding community is also a fundamental premise. Therefore, we imagine the new IMPA without any barriers in its front portion. The concierge and access point will be located about 20m from the road, and this intermediate space will o¦er a square plaza accommodated with permanent ramps and an elevated landing. This square will not necessarily belong to the IMPA, but rather to the community to which IMPA belongs. Moreover, the premise of creating a low visual impact for the building landscape is to create routine events and activities linked to the wider public that will serve as an important point of contact to IMPA.