Vila Itororó is an architectural ensemble remnant from edifications built in the 1920’s as houses for rent, in São Paulo. The site is undergoing the restoration phase of a longer recuperation process. Vila Itororó has always been chiefly a dwelling place, but it was declared historical heritage and expropriated for cultural purposes. Today the site belongs to the city’s administration, specifically to São Paulo Culture Municipal Secretary, and is being restored by Instituto Pedra. Instead of carrying out the restoration work behind closed doors in order to inaugurate a finished cultural centre at the end of the operation, defined by few people, the project consists in the opening up of the construction site from the beginning of the restoration process, as well as in the installation of an experiment: the setting up of a cultural centre in the middle of the construction site. The idea is that everything that is experimented and debated publicly in this temporary cultural centre today, in the present, may inspire Vila Itororó’s futures.
Today, Instituto Pedra is in charge of the project and answers to the Culture Municipal Secretary. Instituto Pedra is a non-profit private entity with experience in cultural projects and in the execution of work within the scope of architectural restoration. Formally denominated Vila Itororó Restoration Cultural Project – PRONAC 1310741, this initiative was authorised in 2014 by São Paulo City Hall, after an open call for projects to any institutions interested in putting forward proposals for the restoration of Vila Itororó.
Read further in About Us.
Vila Itororó’s restoration project is funded by means of the Federal Law for Cultural Incentives – a.k.a. Rouanet Law. This law was created in 1991 to regulate fund-raising for cultural projects. As public or private sponsor enterprises invest in cultural projects previously authorised by the Ministry of Culture, they get, in exchange, tax relief to the equivalent of the amount invested.
Until March 2018, the temporary cultural center is funded by the São Paulo City Hall, through an agreement with Instituto Pedra.
Vila Itororó has been declared a listed asset by CONPRESP (a municipal entity) and by CONDEPHAAT (state-level entity).
CONDEPHAAT – Council for the Defence of Historical, Archaeological, Artistic and Tourist Heritage of the State of São Paulo – concluded Vila Itororó’s preservation process in 2005. According to Resolution 9, of 10/03/2005, all of Vila Itororó’s edifications are classified as Preservation Grade 2 – GP-2, which protects the architectural structures and exterior aspects.
CONPRESP – São Paulo City Municipal Council for the Preservation of the Historical, Cultural and Environmental Heritage. This agency, in Resolution of 22/2002, compiled a series of listed buildings in the Bela Vista neighbourhood, and classified Vila Itororó as Preservation Level 3 (NP3), which partially preserves the building, securing the preservation of its external features and environment.
Presently, the project is in the first phase of restoration, involving the technical survey of the houses and the detailing of its architectural designs, carried out by the architects involved. The initial forecast for the conclusion of work indicates the year 2018, i.e., five years of work, provided funding is continuous.
At the same time, it is possible to provide two other answers to this question. The first is that, independently of the deadline for the restoration of the buildings, the cultural project is ready, given that a temporary cultural centre is currently up and running; that the heritage property is already being activated and opened to the city, independently of its preservation state. The second answer is that a truly participative cultural centre is perhaps never fully finished, subject to be continuously thought afresh, grounded on the needs and desires of its users.
Access to the construction site is not given by Vila Itororó’s original entrances, but, instead, the public comes in through a shed sited at Rua Pedroso, 238. It is near São Joaquim metro station. It is important not to confuse the entrance to Vila Itororó with another old building, sited on the other side of the same street, known as Casarão Belvedere – please avoid bothering our neighbour! Vila Itororó Open Construction Site[fabio zuk1] is at number 238, the even-numbered side, just a shed. The houses in Vila Itororó can only be sighted once inside the shed, at the back.
Tuesday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
VISITS TO VILA ITORORÓ’S PATIO OF HOUSES
Thursdays and Fridays: 4 p.m.
Saturdays: 2 p.m.
In case of rain visits to the patio will be cancelled.
The construction site of Vila Itororó encompasses the patio area and the houses around it, where the restoration work proper takes place, and also the shed opening to Rua Pedroso, 238. Thus, while the construction site is open, it is important not to confuse the specific visiting times for the houses in Vila Itororó. The section of the construction site that is open to the public most of the time is the shed, whence it is possible to enjoy a full panoramic view of Vila Itororó.
This shed, also built at the beginning of the twentieth-century, was expropriated, among other reasons, to create a fourth access to the site, since Vila Itororó already featured three other entryways leading out to the other three streets framing the block where it is sited. There one finds the construction site’s offices, the areas in use by the cultural activation teams and the workers of the restoration works, a woodwork workshop, a library and a kitchen (under construction).
Everyone is invited to use the shed in order to rehearse, dance, study, play, rest, practice Tai Chi, Yoga and to develop various other activities, including the invention of still unimagined further usages. The team that works at Vila Itororó looks after the coordination of the different activities that simultaneously take place in the shed. The shed acts as a covered public square and it is not necessary to ask for permission to use it, provided the projects/intentions of those wishing to use the place obey the five rules below, defined by Vila Itororó’s team, together with the users:
1) All actions must take place during the opening times and in the spaces designated by the cultural activation team (it is not possible to book an area of the shed).
2) Activities must not be of a commercial, advertising or political party nature;
3) Each individual/group must respect the other individuals/groups using the space, including the permanent workers of the site (e.g., it is possible to carry out an activity with a sound device, provided the sound does not interfere in the other activities around it, including work in the offices of the restoration construction site*).
4) Vila Itororó will not be used to host fairs, trade fairs, exhibitions or performances as part of the spontaneous usage. Processes and rehearsals, not results, will take priority, because it is a working site, where everything is under construction – including the very notion of culture.
5) The collective rules can be reviewed and rethought by the public, together with the cultural activation team, and new rules can be created, grounded on inspirations, needs and problems that may arise in the course of usage.
*The acceptable levels of sound will be determined by any member the cultural activation team present in the shed. When an activity does demand high volumes of sound, this activity will not be able to take place as part of the spontaneous usage of the space. Instead, it will necessary to establish a previous agreement with the cultural activation team, in order to find out if it is possible to book the activity in specific dates. The idea is that no spontaneous activity overpowers the others.
A visit to the patio of houses allows the visitor to share in the current state of the restoration process. The tour also describes the development of Vila Itororó, which contains a little of the formation of the city of São Paulo itself. The visitor listens to the many histories that compose the ensemble: its conception as a “house-monument” surrounded by houses for rent, the issue of water as a structuring element in Vila Itororó’s life, the Eden Liberdade Club and the resistance of the families who lived in the site for decades. The public is stimulated to imagine, debate and take part in the discussions regarding the future usages of Vila Itororó, so that the meaning of the preservation of a public heritage site is appropriated collectively.
Duration: 1h:30 min
Number of visitors: up to 30 people
Tickets: The visit is free. No previous booking is necessary, unless it is a group of more than 15 people. Just arrive at the site (entrance at rua Pedroso, 238) a little ahead of opening[fabio zuk2] time. In case of groups of over 15 people, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety rules: visitors are not allowed to join a group once the visit has begun. The use of hard hats is compulsory – they are available on site – and also compulsory is the usage of closed footwear.
Photographs: photographs are allowed during the visit.
Both admission and permanence in the shed, as well as visits to the patio of houses, are free activities and do not require tickets. In the case of visits, it is recommended to arrive in the site 15 minutes before the opening time.
Visitors are allowed to take photographs during the visits to the patio of houses and also inside the shed. For the production of photo-essays, see next question. No photography for commercial or advertising purposes is allowed.
Taking pictures during visits to the patio of houses is allowed, but photo-essays in the patio are welcome once a month – on the last Saturday of each month – between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. A maximum number of 25 people are admitted in the construction site during this period and places will be assigned on a first come/first served basis, on the same Saturday open to the production of photo-essays. Vouchers will be distributed from 1 p.m. Groups producing photo-essays will be counted according to the number of individuals actually present (and not counted as one photographer). It is not possible for a single person to take vouchers for all the people in a group; only one voucher is given to each person. In the rare occasions when photo-essays are carried out outside the appointed Saturday or times, it will be because the photographic project in question is carried out in the mutual interest of the photographer and Vila Itororó Canteiro Aberto’s curating team. In the shed, photo-essays are allowed daily, during the opening hours, as part of the spontaneous usages of this space. Photo-essays intended for commercial or advertising purposes will not be permitted. In order to find out on what day of this or the following month the second Saturday falls, please refer to a calendar or else our calendar.
Currently, the requests and authorizations of filming in Vila Itororó are centralized in the São Paulo Film Commission, department of Spcine. In this way, contacts for this purpose should be sent to the email email@example.com or registered through www.spcinesis.com.br.
The São Paulo Film Commission, a department of Spcine, the Cinema and Audiovisual Company of São Paulo City Hall, authorized under the terms of Municipal Law 15,929 / 2013 and part of the Municipal Culture Secretariat, entered into force on 2016 May 16th, the Decree (No. 56,905 of 03/30/2016), which created a single procedure for filming requests (with the exception of news reporting) in public spaces, centralizing applications and authorizations at the São Paulo Film Commission.
Next to the Decree was approved a public price list that established, from that same day 16th, a series of discounts for the leases according to the format of the audiovisual work. In March 2017 an application was launched, which acts as a catalog of municipal leases and already has more than 300 municipal leases registered.
In this way, the department is responsible for receiving all filming requests in public spaces administered by the City Hall, such as parks, cultural centers, squares, streets, sidewalks, libraries, schools, terrains, etc. It is the responsibility of the São Paulo Film Commission to take care of the authorization process, that is, to receive the requests through an online register, to make the technical analysis of the requests, documents, terms, and all communication with the production. The project team will establish the specific conditions for filming, space limitations, schedules, agenda etc.
The filming in Vila Itororó can happen all over the patio of houses, not being allowed the entrance in the buildings. In the shed, it is possible to film through all space, always conciliating with the other existing activities.
Vila Itororó Canteiro Aberto project features a curating team, who invites artists and other groups/individuals to develop artwork specific for the context. As it is not possible to meet a demand of reading and evaluating different written proposals on top of the projects already defined by the curating team, the recommendation is that people who are interested in carrying out an activity in the shed should start to come to the site regularly, and carry out the art project, or actions that revolve around it, in the shed, respecting the rules for the spontaneous usage, described in the page VISITS AND SPONTANEOUS USAGES. Instead of setting up an exhibition of paintings, we stimulate the use of the shed as a studio (the space for the making of paintings, not the final exhibition). Instead of a finished theatre play, rehearsals and debates around the subject may take place there. If your art project respects all rules, then it is not necessary to seek permission to carry it out, just come by and do it. Activities with a potential for the involvement of many people and/or produce a lot of noise must be agreed on and pre-booked with the cultural activation team, who works in the frontal area of the shed. The cultural activation team does not produce the spontaneous usage projects. All material responsibility is with the users. The cultural activation team looks after the space and coordinates the different activities that take place in it simultaneously, so as to avoid one activity to clash with the other.
Every building site in the industry needs machines for carpentry/woodwork. Work in heritage construction sites specifically require such machinery, in order to repair windows, doors, floorings and other wooden artefacts. In Vila Itororó Canteiro Aberto, this woodwork area is not restricted to restoration work: it is open for the city to use. There are two possibilities for the use of the woodwork workshop. Every Thursday (from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and Saturday (from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.), except holidays, the workshop is open to everyone with previous knowledge of and practice in carpentry.
Free use for those with previous knowledge of the woodworking tools
Places: 5, first come/first served
-previous knowledge in woodworking;
-familiarity with and autonomy in the use of machinery (manual, electrical and stationary) available at the workshop;
-knowledge of safety at work procedures;
-compulsory use of personal protection equipment (PPE): trousers, respirator, ear muffs, closed footwear.
No storing facilities or space is available for the free users of the woodwork workshop to keep equipment, tools, PPE or other materials (i.e. unfinished wood pieces)
The families today have been relocated to housing estates in downtown areas, two of them very close to Vila Itororó and one in Bom Retiro. The flats were funded partly by the State Government, and partly by the City Hall, a third tranche being paid by the dwellers in the course of 25 years, in the form of a monthly instalments. After five years in the flats, the families become owners of their new homes. This achievement was only possible thanks to much struggle and the collective organisation of the families.
A partir do dia 10 de março de 2018, o projeto Vila Itororó Canteiro Aberto, idealizado pelo Instituto Pedra, toma uma nova forma, restringindo-se às obras de restauração, aos debates públicos ocasionais e à difusão de conteúdo sobre a Vila Itororó. Portanto, o Instituto Pedra deixa de gerir a programação cultural que ocorre a partir do galpão da Rua Pedroso, 238.
Assim, este site funciona como um raio x do que foi a instauração de um experimento de centro cultural em um canteiro de obras, que funcionou como parte do processo de restauração - antecipando, inclusive, a função pública do conjunto de casas. No site é possível encontrar informações sobre as atividades, indagações políticas, reflexões e o “modo de fazer” que tornou isso possível. Este arquivo também extrapola a temporalidade presente do projeto (2015-2018) e traz o passado da Vila Itororó em pesquisas, fotografias, arquivos sonoros, documentos, filmes e livros escritos e/ou publicados especialmente nesse contexto.
A partir de 10 de março, a gestão do galpão fica a cargo da Secretaria Municipal de Cultura de São Paulo. Para mais informações sobre o uso do espaço, escreva para firstname.lastname@example.org.
E, para enviar mensagens sobre a restauração, materiais sobre a Vila Itororó ou formas de apoiar o Canteiro Aberto, use o e-mail email@example.com.
Por canteiros abertos e pelo desdobramento dessa experiência!