Santa Cruz is very different (and far) from the ‘beach-culture extravaganza’ Rio that we all know. Its almost complete lack of devices for community gathering and entertainment forced the neighborhood to tacitly establish very peculiar social dynamics. Social engagement is only able to happen when local communities gather around collective events, such as a football match.
Football is not only about the game in Santa Cruz. It means much more than that. A football match is the collective tour-de-force that activates the whole community. And it is precisely the intensification of this local quality of football to catalyze social empowerment that formed the primary concept of this project – an urban device to boost flow and permanence throughout the site.
The Leadership Center was designed as a hybrid device. Its architectural and landscape elements combine powers to create a representative and lively equipment for the community. The Center creates flexible regimes of circulation and uses, playing the role of portal, shaded circulation and landmark. Its position within the neighborhood conveniently intermediates circulation through pivotal local points. Through this potential, we were able to turn the site into an actual point of articulation, becoming a place for circulation and reunion.