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Brazil Elective

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Project name: UON Brazil Elective: Health and Wellbeing Project 2

Project location: São Tomé de Paripe, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Date: November 2017

A group of University of Newcastle Architecture students, led by the Peter Stutchbury Foundation has recently returned from the second visit to the Sao Tome de Paripe community located on the outskirts of Salvador, Brazil. The objective of the week-long visit was to design and build structures which support children’s health at a community-run childcare centre.

For the duration of the visit students stayed in the community, working and living side-by-side with local residents which provided a highly immersive experience and rich exchange of ideas.

Building on the work from the previous UON student group in 2016 and through consultation with the community the team developed a design, sourced materials and constructed in 7 days.

Following the request of childcare centre founder Dona Meire, a roof was constructed over a play space at the entrance of the centre. The roof allows the space to be used in all weather conditions as well as increasing passive cooling to the existing centre.

A twisting roof solution was developed for the covered space to reconcile the difference in roof angles of the two adjoining existing buildings. A suspended polycarbonate sheet was installed between the two buildings to cover the space between and serves as a gutter to capture rainwater.

Doors and benches were installed in the ‘watershed’ project constructed the previous year, to enable it to function as an outdoor classroom. Additional elements created included a tooth brushing station, a rope swing, as well as benches and landscaping to the outdoor classroom entry.

UON student Derrick Chu shared his highlight “…to work with the community and be able to come together to achieve a common goal whilst experiencing such a different and rich culture was very enlightening.”

The immersive nature engendered a genuine and profound emotional and physical investment within the group as efforts were mirrored with gratitude, delicious food, dancing classes and support from the community.

UON Student Erica Johnson’s key takeaway from the experience was a new perspective on the role and scale of architecture, “…it’s wonderful to recognise the simplicity of architectural gesture required to improve the quality of a space. Seeing the impact of creative, pragmatic intervention was an extremely powerful moment for me.”

For further information on the projects and future trips, please visit the Peter Stutchbury Foundation website.

Participants names

Local Community leader
Dona Meire
Fernanda Cabral, Peter Stutchbury

Local Community Health Liaison
Flávia Cabral

Coordination support
Michael Phillips - Ateliervivo 

University students
Lily Freeman, Eliza Gay, Erica Johnson, D’Arcy Newberry Dupe, Joshua Moxey, Monil Manorchana Pandya, Derrick Chu, Alvin Claasz, Megan King.

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