Pinheiros Ballroom - Retrofit

The city is the overlap of times materialized through knowledge. The Pinheiros Club, in all its extension and with its diverse elements is not different. Therefore for an initial approach, it is necessary to understand this pre-existing building and the elements that unite the consolidated singularities and make it possible, for those how analyze it, to understand the club as a whole and not as buildings scattered throughout the territory.

In this search for the apprehension of the territory, the natural and vertical structuring of the circulations that guides users sticks out, not only in relation to the buildings, but also to the large voids that erupt in an alternating way and allow the practice of the different sports modalities.

“The main body, the ballroom itself, received a dominant architectural and structural treatment. The vertical lines, the columns finished with green glass mosaics, support the ring finished with white tiles.”

The sequence of vertical elements, both the natural and those proposed by Warchavchik, structure our approach. We use the vertical elements of support as the main structuring elements of the project. However, the proposed structure does not reflect the large span or makes feasible the generous void, but mediates between the new intervention and the existing elements, aiming the conformation of a building that merges with the context.

In this new moment, only the main body of the existing building remains. The other volumes, which had already suffered too many interventions, will be removed and replaced by the building proposed here. With this approach, we kept the great hall as the main area of performances and inverted the stage position, accesses and other technical areas. Through a new constant grid metal structure, the top floor is flexible for different activities, supporting heavier loads, different separations, and also reducing the height of its headroom, according to the events necessity.
The new requested program surrounds the existing building and it’s intermediated by the canopy. As a matter of hierarchy, the new program remains silent and dissolved in relation to the nature, the sky and the edification of Gregori Warchavchik.

The canopy, which delimits the area of intervention, is supported by vertical elements arranged as a result of the load on the floor immediately above. Their dimensions do not vary, but the quantity does. In this way, the demarcation or spatial dimensioning between the several vertical elements results from a mirroring of the structural condition. In the upper part of the canopy is proposed the maintenance of the plant nursery as a didactic tool
to support the school, and also as a possibility of maintaining the conformations of the club, which go beyond its built heritage and reach its main structuring element: the vegetation. The intervention seeks a distinct dialogue with the Brigadeiro Faria Lima Avenue, now tied to a new moment for the club.

“The prestige of the Club today is no longer in the demonstration of strength through a building, but in the Olympic sports and the training of athletes, which contrasts with the statement that “ the image of the Ballroom facing that wide avenue, therefore of easy visualization and recognition, seems to have been consolidated in the urban imaginary in the role of main representation of the Pinheiros Club”.

In that way, it is proposed to create an exhibition space and foyer with direct connection with Brigadeiro Faria Lima Avenue, elevating and sharing the results, merits and achievements of the Pinheiros Club athletes. The intervention proposed by us intends to surround the building designed by Warchavchik, adding to it additional meaning and functions. In a subtle way, we elevate the verticalness and magnificence of the existing work through a new dialogue between the Ballroom and its context, adding another temporal chapter in the history of the Pinheiros Club.


Gustavo Utrabo
Pedro Lass Duschenes


Beatriz Rocha


São Paulo - Brasil