The Sodré mansion epitomes the history of Salvador. A proud mansion, at a unique location in the city: next to Praça Castro Alves with breathtaking views over the “Bahia de Todos os Santos”. The building has for several years been left to wane. The result is a fragile yet incredible beautiful piece of architecture. The decline has revealed the structure, history and tectonics of the building. The decay of the facade has revealed the history of an architectural tradition./Behind the decaying façade lies a testimony of an architectural tradition.
Our strategy is to preserve this piece of “exposed architecture /architecture revealed”. Restoration projects are too often obsessed with recreating past glamour, a Disneyfication of architectural history. In our project for Mansion Sodré we intend to capture the total history of the building rather than a frozen moment in time. We preserve what can be preserved and add new where none can be preserved, yet avoiding replication.
The existing building is marred by an internal structure, constructed in complete disregard of the façade openings. Floor slabs, beams and columns crisscross in the middle of windows creating a three dimensional Danteum Inferno.
To demolish this internal structure would jeopardize the entire structure of the building. Rather, we suggest to retract the floor slabs from the façades while leaving the load bearing structure intact, in effect creating a freestanding building inside the historic shell. The original structure is kept; where beams or columns are conflicting with the historic openings the structure is relocated. A new reflective glass skin is offset to the inside of the existing perimeter. The new façade will reflect the old encapsulating façade. An exterior space with a garden separates the two skins.
On the historic “backside” of the building that overlooks the Bahia de Todos os Santos we suggest a new terrace and restaurant space. The spaces are created between two free formed and undulating sheets of concrete. The sheets extend the floor slabs of the interior glass tower towards the hill. Towards the bay, they are pinched together, meeting at a circular opening that frames the exact view to the Forte São Marcelo from the new restaurant.
Salvador, Bahia, Brasil
Rua do Sodré 09
Renovation and extension for commercial use as office and restaurant
Adam Kurdahl, Joao Vieira Costa, Paola Salviano, Viola Lambrughi, Mariana Alves