The return of the tide
“Maré”, literally translated to tide, presents itself with a similar urban diagnosis as many other Rio districts, with a significant amount of informal occupation and buildings, however, due to it is sheer magnitude and scale, it becomes a valuable case study with great potential for urbanization.
The project’s concept came from the need that the region has for an urban connection with the city, not only in the physical sense but also for a comprehensive process of rehabilitation for the social and economical reintegration of the area. The project thus becomes a wick for the long term restructuring of Maré.
Besides the socioeconomic issue addressed, ecological sustainability must be just as relevant as any other directives in the conception and execution of such ideas, being the link between all proposed directives.
The connection between sustainability, education and economic development happened with the conception of the PRATEC. Named Practice+Technology Educational Centre, the large linear structure, interrupted only by the Àbòabuare park, beyond being a fisical barrier between the large Brasil Avenue and the residential area, is the engine for all the circular economy of the region.
PRATEC uses plastics coming from Maré itself and houses infrastructure for the selection and treatment for the recycling of those plastics. The compound has equipment for 2D and 3D printing and modeling, as an incentive for micro-entrepreneurs and individuals not currently working. To help incentivize the population to recycle, rewards in the form of transport and parking vouchers are traded for the plastic.
Besides warehouses and abandoned buildings, other uses were identified in the site. A criterion for the preservation of the existing buildings was implanted, selecting those with enough residential units, religious, educational, social or cultural purposes and those of unique architecture. A total of 34 buildings met the criteria, thus being preserved and focus of restoration, expansion and retrofit efforts.
The site being nearly at sea level and permeated by subterranean canals, annual floods are a concern. To minimize this issue, four large floodable staggered areas were designed to drain and treat the excess water.
Through observation of the culture of Maré’s residents and the complicated access to the beaches, the floodable areas can be used not only ad infrastructure but also as a leisure area, following the example of the “Piscinão de Ramos” - an artificial beach inside the “Parque Ambiental da Praia de Ramos Carlos de Oliveira Dicró” park, located on Maré.