H3O Park, Favela da Serra, Third Water Park Belo Horizonte

H3O Favela da Serra, Belo Horizonte Building, Third Water Park Design

H3O Park, Brazil : Third Water Park, Belo Horizonte

H3O Belo Horizonte – design by Vazio S/A Arquitetura e Urbanismo

24 Nov 2011

H3O Park + Sao Vicente Alleyway, Belo Horizonte

Design: M3 Arquitetura, Vazio S/A, MAch, Ana Assis, Silvio Todeschi, Alexandre Campos

Favela da Serra

H3O Park, a slum upgrading in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was awarded best institutional building in the award ‘The Best of Architecture 2011’, sponsored by Brazilian magazine (Arquitetura & Construção).

H3O Park H3O Park Belo Horizonte H3O Park Favela da Serra H3O Park Favela da Serra Belo Horizonte

The favela da Serra is one of the most populous of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and occupies an area of 1.5 million m2. The cluster is home to about 50,000 housed in 15,000 dwellings.

The Third Water Park (or “H3O”) is part of a great work throughout the slum, being considered the greatest slum upgrade ever made in Brazil.

The interventions include, besides the implementation of the H30 Park, upgrading works of lanes, construction of hundreds of social housing blocks, eradication of risky areas, restoration of springs, sewage in 100% of households and network deployment of interceptors along streams and around the Park. The project was created with intense participation of the population through a public ombudsman program known as “Participatory Budgeting”. One of his main points is the relocation of families living in areas at risk in the new housing projects that are in the same region (instead of removing them to new settlements in the outskirts, as it used to occur in previous programs).

H3O Park H3O Park Belo Horizonte H3O Park Favela da Serra H3O Park Favela da Serra Belo Horizonte

H3O Park is squeezed into a deployment thalweg into the hills. The community center, squares and housing blocks were all built on the very few flat areas of the slopes. The stream that divides the park into two, previously an open sewer, is now used by the population as a recreational area. Hundreds of housing units were built to shelter those removed out of risk areas or in the route of the new avenue which passes right in the middle of the favela and that now connects the two middle-class neighborhoods previously separated by the slum.

H3O Park H3O Park Belo Horizonte H3O Park Favela da Serra H3O Park Favela da Serra Belo Horizonte

H3O Park includes play areas, sports courts, fitness equipment (the yellow wall), hiking trails, x-park (sports park – unbuilt) and a community center (green building). The Community Center is home to professional courses, environmental education programs, collective kitchen, gym, nursery, playroom, digital center, and workshops for carpentry and printing. Due to the low budget, the concept the building is simple: blocks of activities separated by courtyards and passageways covered by a green perforated metal casing. The building remains open and accessible, inviting the user and well integrated into the landscape made up of the existent “backyard vegetation ” – banana plant, mango tree, guava tree etc… The metal cover has several openings (part of the landscape that fit the neighborhood) and skylights, ensuring ventilation and natural light fully amortized throughout the building.

Fitness Square (yellow wall) is one of four squares of the park, which also includes Spring Square, Music Square Toys (unbuilt) and the Parkour Plaza (unbuilt). Its main element, the Wall of Activities reflects the very narrow area available for its implementation (a rare flat area that follows a contour line), hence the concentration of gymnastics equipment in a single element.

H3O Park H3O Park Belo Horizonte

H3O Park Belo Horizonte – Building Information

H3O Park
Coordinator: Alexandre Campos
Master Plan: M3 Arquitetura, Vazio S/A, Ana Assis, Silvio Todeschi, Alexandre Campos
Squares: Vazio S/A, Ana Assis, Alexandre Campos
Community Center: M3 Arquitetura, Silvio Todeschi, Alexandre Campos

São Vicente Alleyway
MAch Arquitetos (Mariza M Coelho & Fernando Maculan, Rafael Yanni)
Photos: Eduardo Eckenfels, Leonardo Finotti, Marcio Gibram, Pedro Meyer, Flavio Agostini, Carlos Teixeira
Client: Urbel / Consórcio Camargo Correa & Santa Bárbara

H3O Park Belo Horizonte images / information from Vazio S/A

Vazio Arquitetura


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




Architecture in Brazil

Brazilian Architecture Design – chronological list

Belo Horizonte Architecture News

Brazilian Architects

Belo Horizonte Architecture – Selection

Bar-Pool-Gallery, Nova Lima, MG
Design: BCMF Architects
Bar-Pool-Gallery by Belo Horizonte
image : Jomar Bragança

Bar-Pool-Gallery by Belo Horizonte

Structural Archaeology, Moeda, Minas Gerais
Design: Carlos M. Teixeira – Vazio S/A, architects
Structural Archaeology in Belo Horizonte
image from architects

Structural Archaeology in Belo Horizonte

Brazil Architecture

American Architecture Walking Tours : city walks by e-architect

Another Brazilian favela design by Vazio S/A Arquitetura e Urbanismo on e-architect:

Topographical Amnesias Belo Horizonte
Design: Vazio S/A Arquitetura e Urbanismo ; co-author, Louise Ganz

Topographical Amnesias I

Topographical Amnesias Topographical Amnesias Topographical Amnesias Topographical Amnesias

Enormous concrete piles that structure some residential buildings in Belo Horizonte were converted into substance for urban inquiries. These monumental voids, totally under-used, were then connected to the city as a theater stage for Armatrux, a street theater company.

Topographical Amnesias II

The play Nomads, by theater company Armatrux, was another phase of the Topographical Amnesias project. The event was an architectural intervention which transformed a previously under-utilized space with airs of a trash dump. Architecture, landscaping and environmental reclaiming intermingle and work as an urban set for the theater play.

Topographical Amnesias Topographical Amnesias Topographical Amnesias Topographical Amnesias

Topographical Amnesias




Vazio S/A Arquitetura e Urbanismo studio based in Belo Horizonte, Brasil

Brazilian Architecture – Selection

Rio Olympic Park Buildings, Rio de Janeiro
BCMF Arquitetos
Copacabana Stadium
image : Rio 2016/BCMF Arquitetos
Rio Olympic Park Buildings

Paraty House, SP
Marcio Kogan
Paraty House
photo : Nelson Kon
Paraty House

Theater Unicamp Campus, Campinas
Una Arquitetos
Theater Unicamp Campus
picture from architect
Theater Campinas

South American Buildings

Comments / photos for the H3O Park Belo Horizonte page welcome

H3O Park Belo Horizonte Brazil Building

Website: Architectural Walking Tours

Website: Brazil