UNA barbara e valentim

Santa Cruz School


A school for children and young people from 6 to 17 years old, will be the new unit of Colégio Santa Cruz. Founded in 1952 in São Paulo by Canadian priests, the school currently has 2,789 students, offering Kindergarten, Elementary and High School courses, as well as a widely subsidized Supplementary Education Course. The new unit will hold an additional 1,500 students, who will study full-time.
The 13,000 m² site, located in Butantã, borders the University of São Paulo and an avenue with a large flow of vehicles and an important urban connection.
The project was based on the organization of a broad program, seeking to maintain a large permeable and free area for recreation. An extensive green area, in the center of the complex, is the organizing space for the entire school. The first floor was destined entirely for leisure and living spaces, the specific activities are developed in the lower level, facing the large garden, or in the upper floors configuring the vertical construction, which is fully realized with the location of three sports courts on the roof.
Two suspended volumes, approximately 100 meters long, configure two parallel blocks. The one facing the avenue, a box formed by wooden slats (reforested Pinus), concentrates the collective uses, affirming the intention of opening the school to the city. The other, more sheltered, houses classrooms, laboratories, auditorium, and art rooms incorporated into a roof garden, all activities protected from the noise of the avenue by the construction itself and by the new mass of trees.
Two walkways connect these blocks and establish continuity to the route. Closed with translucent panels, they become tunnels of light during the day, and at night, lanterns suspended over the forest.
The first floor was established from the highest level of the terrain, elevated in relation to the avenue. The choice of this entry level defined the building’s concordance with the original topography.
The materials chosen (concrete, wood, steel, and glass) come from the construction process and were specified to avoid constant maintenance, not requiring any type of coating. The intention is that each stage of the construction itself exposes the finished building, and that it can reveal the passage of time with dignity. The ventilation and lighting of the buildings were designed to optimize energy and make the best use of natural resources.
The complex reveals itself as the construction of a new urban landscape, in a place of little consolidated occupation. There are large empty or underused plots of land. It is an area with great transformation potential, located near residential neighborhoods with different standards, and that has been gradually undergoing structural urban interventions.


São Paulo, SP

Project start date



UNA arquitetos: Cristiane Muniz, Fábio Valentim, Fernanda Barbara, Fernando Viégas


Ana Paula de Castro, Apoena Amaral e Almeida, César Shundi Iwamizu, Clóvis Cunha, Felipe Noto, Jimmy Efrén Liendo Terán, José Carlos Silveira Júnior, José Paulo Gouvêa, Sabrina Lapyda, Ricardo Barbosa Vicente

Land Area

13.500 m²

Total Area

23.000 m²


Companhia de Projetos


Zaclis, Falconi e Engenheiros Associados


Engesolos Engenharia de Solos e Fundações


phe Projetos Hidráulicos e Elétricos


Bettoni Automação e Segurança


Thermoplan Engenharia Térmica


Proassp Assessoria e Projetos


aec Consultores

Professional Kitchen

Núcleo Ora Projetos para Cozinhas Profissionais

Lighting Design

Ricardo Heder


Alexandre Sresnewsky


Bonsai paisagismo


Kazutoshi Shibuya Serviços Técnicos de Agrimensura

Mapping of the Subsurface

chm Mapeamento do Subsolo

Drainage and Plumbing

Geométrica Engenharia de Projetos


Visualize Arquitetura Digital


Kenji Maquetes

Model Photography

Bebete Viégas