This project for the expansion of the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) was given a steeply sloping site at the heart of Rio’s downtown area. The first idea was then to cut into it this ground without leaving a void. Thus, the proposal would not simply occupy the former terrain in a completely solid or exclusively formal manner, but substitute the old for a regular prism that would occupy the maximum available volume. A series of cuts into this form give the spatial notion that the hill still exists, and that there is a new barrier between the natural and the constructed in the transverse direction of the site.



occupying the hill

Taking the principal of occupying the former hill, the program was arranged in the following manner: offices distributed in 3 identical linear blocks 15m in depth. These cross the totality of the site, linking the road and the hill. In between these towers are empty spaces that represent the exact negative volume of the constructed space.

These blocks are connected via bridges on the inner face of the street-side facade. In the opposite side adjacent to the hill, technical pathways contain all the service needs of the building. The public elements of the programme are held in a 2-storey plinth beneath these blocks. This gives the library and auditorium a strong public realm connection. 3 basement floors complete the programme.


technical information

Project Start: 2014
Construction Area: 38.000 m²
Design Development: Gustavo Cedroni, Martin Corullon, Sol Camacho, Laura Gonzalez Fierro, Ana Julia Chiozza, Rafael de Sousa, Eric Enser, Javier Herrero, Marina Pereira and Isadora Schneider.
Structural Design: AFA Consult – Rui Furtado and Marco Carvalho
Images: Play-time