By Araciene Pessin
In our main article on the refurbishment of the Largo da Alfândega in Florianoplis https://www.stone-ideas.com/100147/largo-da-alfandega-in-florianopolis/, we only briefly touched the topic of the stone used. Now, in this article from our “Stone Insight” series, Araciene Pessin, Designer and Landscape architect from the companies Gramobras / Aquila Design, gives us details about the history of stone pavement in Brazil and and it was done here.
In 2023, Brazil celebrates the 523rd anniversary of its discovery by Portugal, whose explorers brought Portuguese stones as ballast for the ships, marking the beginning of Brazilian urbanization. Their expertise in processing stones made them pioneers in the propagation of techniques such as stonemasonry (stone cutting) on Brazilian soil. This technique was disseminated throughout Brazil by the Jesuits, who spread the Catholic faith among Indigenous peoples and contributed to the construction of Brazil. As a result, the history of urban planning in the country includes the use of stones in public spaces.
Presently, Brazil is undergoing a process of urban renovation in these public spaces, as well as the incorporation of new ones, and stones have been widely used to revitalize these projects. One example is the Largo da Afândega in Florianópolis, where stones were applied in many different ways, adding beauty, longevity, biophilia, and eco-urbanism to the project.
Two types of stones were chosen for this project in the capital of the state of Santa Catarina: Gray Silver Granite and São Francisco Black Granite from Gramobras Granitos company. They were applied in the following ways:
* Solid pieces with 15 cm and 10 cm thickness, providing structure to the sidewalks.
* Decorative paving, adding beauty to the floor.
* Various finishes ensuring harmony in the project.
The selected texture (surface finish) for both the paving and solid pieces was the flamed one, which provided a non-slip effect for pedestrian traffic. In the finishing details of the gardens, water fountain, and more, stones with flamed and polished textures were specified, creating visual contrast using the same type of stone, São Francisco Black Granite.
The stones were chosen to create contrast in the project, allowing people to appreciate this public space and highlighting the rich history of this Brazilian site.
Brazil, with the greatest geodiversity of stones in the world, is currently experiencing a unique moment in its history, with ample possibilities for the use of stones due to the technological advancements of Brazilian industries. As a result, many public spaces have been revitalized with stones, promoting tourism, sustainability, and social interaction.
Following the principles of one of the greatest urbanists of our time, Danish architect Jan Gehl, “We shape our cities, and then they shape us.“ The revitalization of Brazilian public spaces has fostered social interaction, expanded tourism, encouraged physical activity among the population, and promoted the use of bicycles for transportation. This way, revitalized spaces are rewriting the history of important Brazilian cities by providing safe, comfortable, sustainable, and suitable access for the population.
(26.06.2023, USA: 06.23.2023)