São Paulo - affordable renting for social housing By Carlos Arellano, Fernando Bizarri Requena, Gabriel R Grinspum, Isabel T S C

São Paulo - affordable renting for social housing

​By Carlos Arellano, Fernando Bizarri Requena, Gabriel R Grinspum, Isabel T S Cezar &​​ Tomas Faria


São Paulo: why ​make it denser? 

São Paulo presents low density in most of the urbanized area. There is still a lot of land for construction. Some social aspects make the land division very uneven and segregated, leading to many other social problems. The uneven development of São Paulo has concentrated the infrastructure and most of the jobs in the Southwest. Most of the high income population also lives there. This area is on the whole too expensive for low income population to live, so they have been historically forced to move out to cheaper places. This particularity of São Paulo makes a Plan B useful for occupying the roof tops of the well located buildings as social housing. 

Design Strategy

The Plan B São Paulo proposes to apply regulations in force, from the master plan of 2014, to allow existing buildings, located in the southwest quadrant of the city, to increase density through additional floor area for social housing. In this way it intendes to minimize the negative effects of social segregation. The mechanism in force is the solidarity quota. It can be negotiated with the municipality through discounts on property taxes. The social housing built using this quota should be affordable for low income people to rent. Kerto is perfect for this objective because of its strength and lightweight. 

Building system

The structural design is intended to be flexible enough to adapt to different environments. This project has developed a structural grid slabs system, with light pieces that can expand with support in many points. To make the division within the units, we created prefabricated models, that match the requirements of the house plan, merging with the furniture. The whole system is built using Metsa Kerto, and it is formed by the grid slab, edge beams, flooring and the prefabricated modules.​

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs