Guest Professor Nathaniel Corum on the Rio Floods Project

By January 17, 2012 Blog, Featured

Currently into his second week, head of educational outreach for Architecture for Humanity Nathaniel Corum is at the ESARQ-UIC leading a special 3-week workshop with our students that aims to develop a series of proposals for a real-life project currently taking shape in Brazil, sponsored by Nike Gamechangers and led by Architecture for Humanity. The workshop will culminate in a field trip in early February to Petrópolis, Brazil, where students will evaluate the site, meet the local team and share their feedback and proposals.

The Rio Floods sports center responds to the victims of last year’s floods in Rio de Janeiro, where an unprecedented rainfall between January 11 and 12 unleashed a series of landslides that destroyed an estimated 3000 houses, displaced 100,000 Brazilians and caused over 900 deaths, resulting in the worst natural disaster and preventable loss in Brazilian history. Teaming up with Architecture for Humanity, Nike do Brasil has committed $100,000 in support of a small sports center near Petrópolis, a severely damaged community where the government of Brazil has committed to rebuild housing. Given that sports structures in past disaster recovery efforts have played an integral role in supporting a community’s balanced recovery, this sports facility was conceived to form part of this larger housing project, and will ensure space is protected for public meeting and creative play.

During these 3 weeks, Nathaniel has asked our students to develop conceptual schemes and design recommendations for specific sports interventions within the multi-family post-flood housing community located near Petropolis, using the site and contextual information provided. The primary site is identified as the highest plateau on the project site, though recommendations and designs should connect to the other built and natural project features and seek out additional spatial opportunities for sport use in other project areas.

The Architectural and site design program are to include:
– Multi-Use Sports Court
– Playground for younger children
– Walking/Hiking Trail Connecting to adjacent forests
– Picnic Area
– Site Lighting for night use
– Building
– Restrooms
– Storage for sports equipment
– Snack Bar
– Veranda

The sports center is scheduled to break ground later this year. In the meantime, our students will be developing proposals and visiting the site, while Architecture for Humanity will be recruiting designers who will work from Brazil with the local partners and stakeholders to lead all design phases for the project. Stay tuned for updates on the project and the progress of students on site in Brazil!

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