Heliópolis Painting Project

Exhibition: Network | December 1, 2011 by

Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake once called his neighborhood of Heliópolis, one of São Paulo’s largest favelas, the ugliest sector of the city. In response, community leaders challenged Ohtake to make a more beautiful Heliópolis. Ohtake approached this challenge by bringing color back to the streets of his neighborhood, painting the exteriors of all 276 houses in the favela. His design intervention employed references to the vibrant colors of Brazil’s colonial past. He allowed local residents to choose from six colors ranging from bright yellows to deep purples, while he chose the hues for window and doorway trims. Through the process of painting, residents of Heliópolis gained a renewed sense of pride and dignity in their neighborhood.

Architect: Ruy Ohtake. Heliópolis, São Paulo, Brazil, 2003–5 



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