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CONPRESP protects USP buildings

Eduardo Cesar Ramps and communal spaces connect the buildings of the FFLCH-USP history and geography departmentsEduardo Cesar

The São Paulo Council for the Preservation of Historical, Cultural, and Environmental Heritage (CONPRESP) registered four more University of São Paulo (USP) buildings in April. All are located on the main campus. The buildings that are currently home to the history and geography departments at the School of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences (FFLCH); the mechanical and naval engineering, mining and petroleum engineering, and metallurgical and materials engineering departments at the polytechnic school; and the swimming pools and soccer stadium at the sports center (CEPEUSP) were recognized as buildings of cultural heritage, representing the city’s modernist architecture. From now on, any adaptations or renovations to these facilities must first be approved by the Preservation Division of São Paulo City Hall and by CONPRESP itself. “These buildings were constructed using innovative techniques, such as concrete technology, and contain collective spaces that foster collaboration in the academic community,” explains Mônica Junqueira, a professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU-USP). “Their design portrays a certain detachment that was characteristic of modern brutalist architecture of the 1950s and 1960s.” For Mariana Rolim, director of the São Paulo City Hall Department of Historic Heritage, the technical and formal architecture of the buildings shows a pioneering approach to educational spaces, such as the use of ramps and communal areas. “Before these buildings, schools were formed of classrooms separated by long corridors,” observes Mariana. The new listings take the number of USP buildings protected by the body to 20.