The architectural firm Natureza Urbana has just completed an extensive urban revitalization at the historic center of São Luís – Maranhão, focused on qualifying public spaces, improving the interlocution with the existing heritage and boosting the local micro-entrepreneurs market.
▼视频，video © Natureza Urbana
马拉尼昂州首府历史城区的振兴计划由泛美开发银行（IDB）提供资金支持，包含了一系列改造和建造项目，其中有3个重要的改造项目由Natureza Urbana事务所率领完成，包括“慈悲广场”（Mercy Square）和“萨乌达德广场”（Saudade Square），以及位于Vitorino Freire大道巴士站附近的“主教喷泉”（Bishop’s Fountain）区域。
The projects were part of a program created to revitalize the historic city center of the state capital of Maranhão, financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The firm led 3 important renovations: one at ‘Praça da Misericórdia’ (Mercy Square), other at ‘Praça da Saudade’ (Saudade Square) and another at Fonte do Bispo (Bishop’s Fountain), an area around a bus station on Vitorino Freire Avenue.
▼巴士站和主教喷泉区域，Bishop’s Fountain around the bus terminal © Meireles Junior
▼萨乌达德广场，Saudade Square © Meireles Junior
▼慈悲广场，Mercy Square © Meireles Junior
The initial motivation for the revitalization were the security problems around the 2-kilometers shoreline that surrounds the bus terminal, indicating that only an urban intervention would be able to encourage the use of these spaces by the public. The same problem could be also found in other squares of the city, which inspired a joint transformation. In 2018, with financing from the IDB, São Luís city hall started the 3 interventions coordinated by Natureza Urbana.
In a participatory process, the population expressed its vision and participated sharing information and suggestions through workshops. Teams of social workers registered the peddlers in order to guarantee that all of them would be considered into the new spaces, either through kiosks, small stalls or adapted vehicles such as bike foods (ideal for street vendors).
▼改造前的三个场地，the three sites before revitalization © Meireles Junior
Just around the Bus Terminal, more than 150 people benefited from the project, which brought the construction of a skateboard park, a playground and an area for sports and environmental education, as well as an interactive water fountain and many kiosks for the merchants.
▼巴士站和广场区鸟瞰，aerial view to the Bus Terminal and the square © Meireles Junior
▼互动喷泉和儿童游戏区，interactive water fountain and children’s area © Meireles Junior
▼景观细节，landscape detail © Meireles Junior
▼游戏区，game area © Meireles Junior
▼滑板公园和篮球场，skateboard park and basketball court © Meireles Junior
▼巴士站，bus terminal © Meireles Junior
▼鸟瞰，aerial view © Meireles Junior
Praça da Saudade
At ‘Praça da Saudade’, previously irregularly occupied by peddlers and deeply degraded, the use of the area as a meeting and leisure spot was limited. The place is located next to a cemetery, hence its name (Saudades means ‘to miss someone you love’), and was occupied by many improvised flower stalls.
▼萨乌达德广场鸟瞰，aerial view to the Saudade Square © Meireles Junior
Natureza Urbana设计团队提出的方案旨在以具有组织性和统一性的方式更好地利用既有的空地，同时对当地的一些设施，如食品摊、杂志摊和出租车站等进行整合。原先大面积的水泥地面被替换为草丘、砖砌露台看台和新的花店空间。这些花店如今扩大了规模，可以为更多墓园的访客提供服务。花店的屋顶由来自再造林的胶合木制成，与空间中的其他部分共同呈现出一种流动的美感——其设计灵感源自巴西Lençóis Maranhenses地区的沙丘形态。
Natureza Urbana proposed a project that provides unity, organization and a better use of the existing free area, in addition to enabling the integration of local equipment such as food stalls, magazines stalls and taxi stops. Previously characterized by a large cemented area and a lack of green, the square gained grass mounds to expand the vegetation, masonry bleachers and new space for florists, who now serve the cemetery visitors with more structure. The roofs are made of glued laminated wood from reforestation. Both the roofing elements and the rest of the space have a fluid aesthetic, in reference to the Lençóis Maranhenses’ sand dunes.
▼原先大面积的水泥地面被替换为草丘，the large cemented area has been replaced by grass mounds © Meireles Junior
▼售货亭和露天座位，retail pavilion and outdoor seating © Meireles Junior
▼凉亭夜景，shelter night view © Meireles Junior
Praça da Misericórdia
“慈悲广场”是该市最古老的广场之一，位于人流密集的Santa Casa da Misericórdia医院前方。该广场保留了一些殖民时期的广场所具有的经典元素，例如中央雕塑和从雕塑延伸至草坪的小路等，但总体而言亟待进行保护和修复。
At ‘Praça da Misericórdia’, one of the oldests squares in the city placed in front of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia Hospital (where there is a great flow of people), other challenges were faced. Although the place retained some classic design traces of the colonial squares – such as the central sculpture from which trails radiate over the lawns –, the place demanded urgent conservation initiatives.
▼广场鸟瞰，aerial view © Meireles Junior
The wall surrounding the perimeter was removed in order to make the area more accessible and pleasant for pedestrians. It was up to Natureza Urbana to propose the replacement of urban furniture, adapt the landscaping and update the paving, both revitalizing the cobblestone flooring and creating paths focused on accessibility. The standardization of commercial spaces where the local workers operate was also proposed.
▼中央雕塑和喷泉，the central sculpture and fountain © Meireles Junior
▼花池景观，landscape © Meireles Junior
▼从售货亭望向喷泉，view from the retail pavilion © Meireles Junior
The revitalization was so successful that it motivated the requalification of the buildings facing the square. As an initiative of the owners, they received improvements and paintings aligned with the new local phase, proving the thesis that urban interventions are a powerful tool for social transformation.
▼巴士站区域位置示意，Location Map – Bus Terminal © Natureza Urbana
▼巴士站区域平面图，Site Plan – Bus Terminal © Natureza Urbana
▼萨乌达德广场平面图，Saudade Square Plan © Natureza Urbana
▼凉亭立面，elevation © Natureza Urbana
▼慈悲广场平面图，Mercy Square plan © Natureza Urbana
More: Natureza Urbana