Retrofit Madre de Deus Building
RECIFE – PERNAMBUCO
Rethink real estate assets
Bairro do Recife has undergone several changes over its more than 500 years, but its more recent history determines much of its current dynamics. Since 1940, the neighborhood, the economic center of the city until then, has suffered from the process of decentralizing its productive activities. But it was in the 1980s, with the opening of the Port of Suape and the gradual deactivation of the Port of Recife, that the emptying and decay of the region accelerated.
Only in recent decades has the interest in revitalizing the neighborhood been consolidated, which received numerous investments for its renovation. Today it can be said that Bairro do Recife has regained relevance in the city’s economic scenario, gaining prominence in the world technological panorama. Prevailingly occupied by offices, it has some shops (such as cafes, bars, restaurants) and public and commercial equipment. However, it is still a region with little residential use, and which suffers from its emptying at night since its dynamism happens during business hours.
It is in this context that the present study presents the diagnosis of the current situation and the proposal of possible scenarios and strategies for the readjustment of the José Ermírio de Moraes building, known as the Votorantim building, located in the Bairro do Recife.
Located on Rua Madre de Deus, Recife – Pernambuco, the building is owned by the Votorantim Group and, therefore, known as the Votorantim Building.
The objective of this study was to clarify the challenges and potentials linked to the local situation and to determine a vision of the future for the property and the development of its Retrofit.
The diagnosis starts from the survey of the building, the legal analysis, and the current urban context. One of the most relevant agents in the current dynamics of the neighborhood is Porto Digital, a technological park that operates in the sectors of Information and Communication Technology, Creative Economy and Technologies for Cities. An analysis was made of the profile of these companies, their employees and how they go to work. Also evaluated were the new developments in the neighborhood, the actions planned by the city hall for the location, public transport and the offer of parking spaces.
The collaborative diagnosis was built through meetings with professionals from various areas and, finally, merging all the information, a summary panel was made, and conclusions were drawn from it to proceed with the proposals. The general perception of neighborhood goers in front of the building is unknown due to the lack of interaction with the surroundings. Now, frequent visitors of the property highlight the inefficient energy infrastructure of the building, the lack of support spaces for events (such as an auditorium with coffee) and the outdated image of the building, among other aspects.
From the information gathered in the diagnosis and reading of the stakeholders’ view, it was possible to rethink the current use and occupation of the building.
Three scenarios of great potential were identified: maintenance of commercial use of offices (1), with modernization and revitalization of the building’s infrastructure; mixed use – hotel (2), to support the demand for business and city tourism; mixed-residential use (3), attractive due to its central location and privileged view, dialoguing with the demands for moving the neighborhood during non-commercial hours.