São Paulo warehouse revamped into
Red Bull arts centre by Triptyque

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A slender steel awning shades artists from the sun on the rooftop of this creative arts space that French-Brazilian studio Triptyque created for drinks brand Red Bull in a São Paulo warehouse (+ slideshow).

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Situated on Bandeira Square in the bustling downtown of Brazil's biggest city, The Cultural Centre of the Red Bull Station is a five-storey space renovated by Triptyque for the creation of art, music and culture.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Formerly owned by the São Paulo Tramway, Light and Power Company, the 1920s building was once responsible for distributing electricity across the city's tram network. Triptyque was tasked with restoring the listed facade while creating an interior that combined a music studio, ateliers for artists, an art gallery and a roof terrace.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

The architects added a black steel staircase down one side of the building, linking its five levels and providing an easy flow of visitor circulation up, down, in and around the building.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Accompanying the stairs is a steel beam which supports the metal awning known as Leaf. This structure provides a covered terrace, which functions as an exhibition space showcasing the history of the city.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

The concave design of this canopy also allows the collection of rainwater, which can be used to cool the building.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Visitors enter on the ground floor, where the main gallery is located. Here, a blend of concrete mixes with panels of distressed, stippled paintwork; the result of years of repainting by the previous tenants.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Next to the main gallery is a self-contained music studio. The heavyweight concrete module was inserted into the heart of the building as a free-standing structure, and will house Red Bull's Bass Camp - an immersive programme for would-be music professionals. There's also a small cafe selling drinks and food.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Above the ground floor is a mezzanine level containing offices that look down on to the lobby space below, while the basement has been adapted to create a secondary exhibition space and music rehearsal rooms.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

"The building was completely renovated respecting the architectural heritage concepts," explained the team. "A contemporary intervention was carried out in order to adapt the building to its new role as a cultural hub."

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

The exposed concrete and old paintwork continues on the upper levels, where six workshops were created for artistic residencies. Around each of the individual workshops, another exhibition space called the Gallery of Transition will temporarily host projects.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

"The essence of the historic building has been preserved, and the beauty of its elements has been strengthened," said the designers.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

This isn't the first time Red Bull has worked with architects to create spaces for artists. In 2012, Spanish studio Langarita-Navarro Arquitectos filled a Madrid warehouse with makeshift huts and a wilderness of plants to provide a nomadic music academy for the drinks brand.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Triptyque is a French-Brazilian architecture office created in 2000 by Grégory Bousquet, Carolina Bueno, Guillaume Sibaud and Olivier Raffaelli. Past projects include the Leitão 653 creative studios, which feature a chequerboard facade made from glass blocks.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Photography is by Pedro Kok.

Here's a project description from Triptyque:


The Cultural Centre of the Red Bull Station: an island of culture in downtown Sao Paulo

The city of São Paulo is one of the places in the world where urbanity is the most powerful and intense. An area where the beauty of the streets and buildings was forgotten for many years. Through the renovation of a 20 years building, formerly occupied by the electricity company Light , the new architectural project Triptyque, the Cultural Centre of the Red Bull Station, appears as an important player in the rehabilitation centre.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

Based on the Bandeira square , the new cultural centre hangs together auditory and visual arts through the production and dissemination of new forms of artistic expression.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

The building was completely renovated respecting the architectural heritage concepts. A contemporary intervention was carried out in order to adapt the building to its new role as a cultural hub. The essence of the historic building has been preserved, and the beauty of its elements has been strengthened.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

An architectural element was created to accompany visitors throughout their visit, from the stairs to the five floors of the Red Bull Station and numerous spaces. On the roof of the station, flaps a fleet metal called "sheet" that covers the terrace.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

On one side of the ground floor is located the main gallery, a space that houses exhibitions of all forms of visual arts , performances and concerts. On the other side, is located a volume of concrete, carefully polished and sculpted that receives a music studio.

A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque

The basement has been converted into an exhibition space and music rehearsal rooms. Upstairs, six workshops were created for artistic residencies that will change each quarter. Around individual workshops, the "Gallery of transition" temporarily host projects in their creative process.

Architect: Triptyque
Associates: Gregory Bousquet, Carolina Bueno, Guillaume Sibaud, Olivier Raffaelli
General Coordinator: Luiz Trindade
Team: Adolfo Paulo Martins (project) / Pedro Ferraz de Mattos (architect).
Contributors: Thiago Bicas, Ricardo Innecco (architects) / Luísa Vicentini, Sofia Saleme Priscila Fialho, Murillo Fantinati, Natallia Shiroma (trainees).

Station Red Bull by Triptyque
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Station Red Bull by Triptyque
Mezzanine plan - click for larger image
Station Red Bull by Triptyque
Upper floor plan - click for larger image
Station Red Bull by Triptyque
Roof plan - click for larger image
Station Red Bull by Triptyque
Basement plan - click for larger image
A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque
Cross section - click for larger image
A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque
Long section - click for larger image
A haven for the arts and culture in downtown Sao Paulo by Triptyque
Elevation - click for larger image
  • Guest

    Looks fantastic!

  • Min Jung Lee

    Wow. It looks so nice.

  • Kadu Brazil

    Nice. Another cool place in this great metropolis of Sao Paulo city.