Rio de Janeiro




City and Nature
(...) then at Rio de Janeiro, a city radiant in its universally proclaimed beauty that seems to defy all human participation, a violent desire comes to you, crazy perhaps, to try a human enterprise here too, the desire to play a match for two, a match of the “affirmation of mankind” against or with the “presence of nature. Le Corbusier in Précisions, 1930Rio de Janeiro is a paradigm of dialogue between city and nature.

To occupy, transform and shape its exuberant natural landscape into a new inhabitable geography has been a challenge for centuries. As the city expanded, tunnels were dug through granite mountains, bridges were built to connect islands to the continent and new landfills stretched into the sea.

Of all these infrastructural works, the most controversial and celebrated example was the demolition of the Castelo Hill in Rio’s downtown district in the 1920s. Several buildings were blasted and 5 million cubic meters of earth were moved and turned into landfill to eventually become the Santos Dumont Airport. 

Years later, the Santo Antônio Hill suffered the same fate, its rubble used to create the metropolitan park of Flamengo, currently one of the most important public spaces in Rio.


Infrastructure and the Coast

Shadowed by the monumental scale of its mountains, the shoreline of Rio de Janeiro has dramatically expanded its limits to accommodate the urges of a city in constant growth. On its vast coast, an array of different urban conditions and timescales appear: port, airport, mountain, beach, island, favela, park, highway, canal, bridge, tunnel, etc.

By developing several projects along the shoreline, the goal is to explore and redefine the urban potential of the coast and its relationship to the rest of the city. 

With prime Carioca architecture as a reference, the studio will engage in the city’s complexity, reflecting on how to generate meaningful collective spaces that promote social activities and public appropriation. 

While the subject undeniably relates to the urban scale, the focus will be on the architectural scale.

Additionally, as the studio work should be exhibited at Columbia University`s Studio-X in Rio, questions on how to develop an architectural exhibition will be addressed.The seminarweek is not obligatory but recommended.The design studio will be held in both German and English.

Integrated Discipline - Construction Professorship Philipp Block.


Dienstag 21.02.2017, 10.30 Uhr
im Studio (ONA, Neunbrunnenstrasse 50, 8050 Zürich-Oerlikon)

Professur Marc Angélil


Ciro Miguel, Guillermo DürigMarcin Ganczarski