Swiss architecture firm Herzog & De Meuron realized their first project in Brazil, the Arena de Morro, in the Northeastern capital of Natal in the state of Rio Grande do Norte; a permeable and fully adaptable gymnasium in the low-income community of Mãe Luiza, the building utilizes a large single roof composed in a louvered structure that allows the income of light while preventing rainwater. Introducing a new scale to the area, the main space of the Arena do Morro seats 420 people, and can comport sport games, concerts, events, etc. as it also features multipurpose rooms for classes, changing areas and a terrace overlooking the ocean. Built in replacement of a bare cement filed (with no walls nor ceiling) in the same location, the Arena do Morro stands as a functional symbol for the physical and social activity of the community.
The current issue of Brazilian home and garden magazine Casa & Jardim features an interview with entrepreneur and designer Etel Carmona, principal at Etel Inteiores, whose passion for wood and heritage of Brazilian furniture design have established her as a precursor in sustainable wood production and, since the 1990’s, singlehandedly responsible for the revival and dissemination of Brazilian modern design. Reissuing furniture lines by masters of Brazilian modern design – Oscar Niemeyer, Jorge Zalszupin, Sergio Rodrigues, Gregori Warchavchic, as well as new designs by contemporary designers Claudia Moreira Salles, Carlos Motta, Isay Weinfeld and Arthur Casas, to name a few, Carmona has been involved with the FSC (Forest Steward Council) initiative since its inception, and has established an atelier in the Amazon region with local laborers, to experiment with new woods and their sustainability. Carmona’s commitment to new solutions for harvesting woods doesn’t stop there, since 2009 she has partnered with Dario Guarita Neto and Roberto Waack to start the firm Amata, specialized in controlled forestation and low impact wood production.