Harmonia 57 by Triptyque



Harmonia 57 by French-Brazilian architects Triptyque is an office building in São Paulo with a planted facade irrigated by a mist system.


Plants grow in "pores" set into the concrete facade and will eventually cover the building.


The Harmonia 57 concept will be on show at Venice Architectural Biennale from 13 September, as part of the French Pavilion.


More information about the building (in Brazilian Portuguese) can be found here.


See more Dezeen stories about projects by Triptyque: Bela Cintra 1235 and Loducca building.


The following is from Triptyque:



The project in Harmonia Street is located in a neighborhood in the west side of São Paulo, where artistic life and creativity penetrates easily, where galleries and walls are mixed up, functioning as a stage for new expression forms.


The alley in front of the building is an example – its graffiti present a concept of experimentation that flows out from the street into the construction.


Like a living body, the building breathes, sweats and modifies itself, transcending its inertia. The walls are thick and covered externally by a vegetal layer that works like the skin of the structure. This dense wall is made of an organic concrete that has pores, where several plant species grow, giving the facades a unique look.


In this great machine, where the rain and soil waters are drained, treated and reused, a complex ecosystem is formed within the local. This ecosystem is a multifunctional universe made of several interconnected machines. It’s a zone of multiplicity, where meanings and actions float between the unsaid, resulting in dynamic entities.


Its insides are exposed in the facades while the interior spaces are well finished with clear and luminous surfaces, as if the construction was inside out. The pipelines that serve the whole building – as well as the pumps and the water treatment system – are showing in the exterior walls, embracing them like veins and arteries of a body.


The building is like a neutral, grey base, sculpted and deformed. The aesthetic is a result of the process – the structure is rough and has a primitive elegance – a reflex of the actual concern with environmental issues and the investigation of new ways of intervention.


Its volume is quite simple, but also remarkable: two grand vegetal blocks are connected by a metallic footbridge, cut by concrete and glass windows and terraces. Between the blocks a internal plaza opens like a clearing and acts like a place of encountering.


The terraces are spread in each floor, creating a visual game between volumes, lighting and transparency in the internal spaces. The frontal block is completely suspense, levitating over pilotis, while the back block is solid, complemented by a birdhouse-like volume on top of it.


Once again as a living body, its windows open up to the exterior with its concrete lips and terraces cut out pieces of the main volumes in different points, like eyes looking at the city from several points of view, while a giant concrete mouth invites automobiles to be swallowed to the inside of the building.


The result of this ensemble is an edifice that presents a perspective on the architecture as a non finished object.



Building: Harmonia // 57
Address: R. Harmonia, 57 Vila Madalena - São Paulo - SP - Brasil
Design year: 2007-2008
Conclusion year: jun 2008
Surface area: 500 sq. meters
Constructed area: 1.060 sq.meters


Architecture: Triptyque – Greg Bousquet, Carolina Bueno, Guillaume Sibaud e Olivier Raffaelli

Project Chief – Tiago Guimarães

Construction: Bassani Architects

Landscaping: Peter Webb


Contractor: BGF / Aparecido Donizete Dias Flausino

Metalic Structures: Planmetal


Structure: Eng. Rioske Kanno

Hydraulic Installations: Guilherme Castanha

Air Conditioning: Disarcon

Wooden works: Libanio Justino da Silva

Wooden Decks: Zanchet

Glass: Revglass

Photos: Nelson Kon

Posted on Sunday August 31st 2008 at 12:04 am by Rob Ong. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • DCV

    I really like Tryptique's projects!

    And, btw, since when "brazilian" is a language?

    • eduardo

      obviously a mistake…. Portuguese is the language, born and bred in Portugal, where most Brazilian culture comes from… and a very beautiful language it is!

      • leo

        Brazilian culture comes from influences from Brazilian Indians, Africans, Italians, Germans, Portuguese and in some way by Frenchies and Dutchies.

        Born and bred in Brazil.

  • leopoldo

    increiblemente lindo y creativo.

  • bokem

    this is so cool

  • gaque

    very nice! i wonder how often the mist is turned on?

    i have to say the pipework looks a bit sloppy.

    for another version of this, see r&sie(n)’s newest house in paris…

  • laila

    won’t the plants fall becouse of their weights?
    what’s abt t roots??

  • James

    I LOVE IT!!!!

  • nique

    i like the idea of ‘aesthetic is a result of the process’. process has an element of time, which makes building actually a living structure. perhaps architects should be more sensitive in designing buildings. treat them as how we are sensitive towards people. then we can have great architecture all around! above all, a great project! keep it up..

  • Azeem

    WOW!! BEAUTIFULLL , The open display of pipes could have been more asthetical!!

  • alex

    “More information about the building (in Brazilian) can be found here.”

    It’s really not hard to turn on your brain, Dezeen, I’m sure if you did so you would have corrected your self and written “Portuguese” instead. Next time it will be Czechoslovakian or Belgian.

  • john ruder

    very sustainable. how can we treat nature that way?

  • ujo

    Not that I don’t give credit for the idea of water reuse, and above it credit for exposing its sistem by revealing the pipes – also creating a “mist” event by that sistem – we should not think that using air condicioning in São Paulo is an example of “green” architecture. Actually, I hate the term, but for me this is a common construction as others here in the city. The volums don’t interest me at all, even thought it’s better than the usual glass facade imported from US or Europe.

  • *MIRTEC*

    impressive project.. would love to see it within a few years, as it will be even better (pipeline-commouflage, etc)…
    any plans/interiors available?


    I live in São Paulo and my curiousity took me to Harmonia Street to see this project.
    I can affirm you that the building is much more interesting than the pictures reveal.
    Of course it’s not the next Wonder World and I dont know what will happen in the future wih this building because de maintenance, but it’ OK.
    Maybe if the walls were coverd with a simple “FICUS PUMILA”, the result could be more beautiful or clean…

  • i look forward to seeing an update in about a year when then plants have started to fill in a little.. then hiding the pipe work
    clapclap goes to the developers for the attempt!


  • Lim

    This is literally “GREEN” architecture evolving. It is nice to see peoples awareness towards mother nature. Those pipelines, a creative way to bring forth patterns towards the dull colored facade. I can see that in a few years, the facade will green entirely. Very interesting though!! As expected from brazillian architects..

  • eduardo

    the idea is good, but the result is very ugly…
    I live in Rio de Janeiro, I am brazilian, and this “monstrengo” has nothing to do with Brasil or brazilian architecture, or anything the reminds taste at all.
    What the hell it means some plants on a wall? Is not enough to produce good architecture. It looks like an abandoned pidgeon hole!

  • Vla


  • Arian H N

    brilliant idea,green architecture is what we need nowadays instead of grayish alcoband sheets which has no character & beauty!!

  • Lite

    Well Eduardo, it seems to me that, green, water, open spaces, interior/exterior relationship has a lot to do with Brazil (climate, mood, spirit, etc, etc).

    We all know your country has an endless know-how in concrete and modernist style but why not accepting new experiments. I think most of comments above agree it’s not as beautiful as some niemeyer’s stuff. But dude, what about experiment and evolution?

    You should worry about not being so narrow-minded.

    As for me i think the building is a great, great experiment.
    Very nice result, exceptional effect with the mist turned on.


    Eduardo, aqui entre nós, eu fui até lá e o negócio é feio pra dedéu!
    Tudo bem que existe a Escola Paulista (que sempre utilizou muito concreto) na arquitetura brasileira, mas duvido que seja esta a inspiração dos autores. É isto.

  • XIN

    that is cool

  • Pretentious version of Lina bo Bardi + poor version of Diller/Scofidio…

    The idea is beautiful, even though not new. Nice try… Hopefully it won’t fall apart and when the plants grow, they will disguise the mess of the pipes. No wonder it looks better with the mist on. If you want to make something cool, please make it right. And guys, nothing against experiment and evolution, on the contrary. But please, avoid such stereotypes of Brazil. It is indeed a great and exciting place, but far from being an exotic wonder land.

  • What a pleasure it is to see more on this building. I was with Glen when he discovered it. We were both in Sao Paulo for IDEA Brasil. Glen wasn’t timid about getting up close and personal with this building, and it wasn’t in the safest of neighborhoods either. He climbed over obstacles and barriers to take pictures. His follow through on this report is just another shining example of Glen’s dedication to design journalism. Bravo Glen!
    Frank T

  • JImmy

    The nicest project Ive seen in 5 years

  • JImmy

    Suppe needs to suck it …..suckit Suppe

  • Frank, I have no idea of what your experience in São Paulo was like, but the building is located at Vila Madalena, definitely not a bad place in the city. Anyway, it seems like you’ve enjoyed it there, and that’s what matters…
    Poor Jimmy, can’t stand an opinion that differs from his point of view. You may love it, I don’t. So what? Who cares?? It’s only a different thinking…

  • Joolzy

    Wow. I love it.

    I don’t think the pipes are ugly, i think it’s just another interesting thing to look at.

  • TikiHead

    I think Patrick Blanc does it better — he has a lot of experience doing vertical gardening.


    Just my opinion.

  • TikiHead

    Though to be fair, this building will likely fill out and be as luxuriant as Mr. Blanc’s creations.

  • Cec

    This is so awesome! What a way to envision the world’s future. Thanks.

  • Erica Asahan wrote:

    Now, this creation is really innovative and I love the concept! I am sure once the shrubs starts growing these will all look just amazing! Great project for homes in humid and hot weather too!

  • Trudie Redding

    saw an interior wall /exterior wall in a group old buildings in Dallas, Texas with plants hanging out of holes, it used recycled water in some way, really kept the temperature down in the building, restaurant and bar huddled up near it and it was very cozy. Temperatures in Dallas reach 100 easily in the summer for many days in a row. All four buildings 2 stories or more with tenants had a view of the wall because of how it was laid out, the sound of water trickling possibly into a metal, perhaps copper? container helped, can’t remember the exact layout

  • mila

    De perto ninguém é normal… esse edifício é H.O.R.R.Í.V.E.L visto de perto.
    Esse papo de arquitetura como objeto inacabado deve ser levado a sério e não um cacoete estético. Diboa, o Triptyque já fez coisas beeem melhores que essa.

  • w

    This is ridiculous. I love it

  • Marina

    i guess criticizers are jealous (as usual) and please, come up with something better, than only saying it’s ugly…..that’s too easy to do….
    i believe the idea is great, it is made in a perfect context, that it is brasil…you can save a lot of energy just using the air conditioning 3 degrees below the regular….that’s good enough, maybe not too exceptional nowadays. at least, something.
    i think it looks good to me, it represents brasil, a more natural look of modernism, beautifully.

  • Carlos

    The point of the building is not to look beautiful (and even so, it is), but to help the nature through architecture, because up to date everything we saw in architecture in Brazil, was turned to aesthetics, and now we have to change this mentality in order to win this cause and “save the enviroment”

  • Bob

    The misting system must provide a fair amount of evaporative cooling. A nice design. Suggests a botanical mini-Pompidou Ctr.

  • João

    Simplesmente incrível, só pelos prêmios que esse prédio já ganhou da para se ter idéia do tamanho da inovação, o prédio é lindo e surpreende a todos que param para olhar com cautela. Arquitetura impecável do pessoal da Triptyque mais uma vez.

  • Karina

    Well, it is another way to irrigate… as in everything, somebody likes it, somes not. Is another solution. Are the plants inside holes of the concrete? or are in a kind ok fabric as Patric Blanc in Paris does?

    Is creative…

  • Birgitte

    I’ve been to see this building twice over the last four years and I really love it! It’s a clothing store but I’d live there : )

    BTW I think most Brazilians would agree “Brazilian” is a thing. It is Portuguese, but it ain’t wrong to call it Brazilian.

  • Vane Montezuma

    I’ve read all the comments and although I like the aesthetics of this project, I find it weird that nobody has noticed that the water from the pipes falls down to the wood floor. Not only bad for the floor itself, but specially the terrible waste of water. I believe they didn’t think it through. Putting a garden beneath it would make it better.