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Minas Gerais Federation of Commerce | GPA&A
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Minas Gerais Federation of Commerce

The new Fecomercio headquarters creates an urban landmark in the area of Raja Gabaglia Ave., expressing the relevance of this institution to the city of Belo Horizonte and the state of Minas Gerais.

The building is set on a vast site of about 5,000m2, facing both Raja Gabaglia Ave. and Cachoeira de Minas St. A large external atrium adjacent to Raja Gabaglia Ave. welcomes the public and distributes the accesses to the different destinations, like the auditorium, the conventions center, the events room and the administration offices of Fecomercio. This atrium has a triple-height ceiling, is about 10m high and has a view to the Curral Range and to Belo Horizonte’s skyline.

A vehicle entrance on Raja Gabaglia Ave. Leads to the port-cochere, situated on a lower level than the atrium and allowing access to all the floors of the building. By using the natural difference of the ground height, 240 parking spaces were created on three levels.

On the ground level, there is an auditorium for 300 people, with a foyer and a mezzanine connected to the covered square through a walkway that crosses the triple-height ceiling of the atrium. On the floor immediately above that, there is a conventions center with a foyer and flexible conference rooms, for 60 to 70 people, but convertible to different sizes up to a large hall for 400 people.

On the three office floors, the different political and administrative functions are distributed, with spaces also dedicated to the affiliated unions, oversight, advisory services, regional management of SESC and SENAC and the presidency of Fecomercio. Close to the President’s office, there is a room for the union’s plenary meetings, with 100 seats.

The penthouse of the building accommodates an events room for 250 people, with an industrial kitchen and verandas that lead to open terraces, as well as service areas and a helipad to complement the building’s functions.

All service accesses are on the southern portion of the land and are equipped with a truck loading area and a support area with vertical circulation accessible to all floors. This setting allows for services to be performed in completely independent fashion – from the setup of the stage in the auditorium to the catering services in the conventions center –, not interfering with the flow of people and with the main functions of the building.

The external surface of the building was planned so as to preserve the view to the Curral Range and to Belo Horizonte without compromising the environmental sustainability of the building. Glass curtain walls were used on the south and east façades, which have less solar radiation. On the more radiated north and west, a second layer made of perforated metal plates was used above the façade, thus decreasing the incidence of direct sunlight and keeping the visual permeability.

The sustainability and eco-efficiency of the building are assured with the use of LED lighting, state-of-the-art air-conditioning systems, automated lift systems, special glasses on the outside, dual flush toilets, rainwater recycling and ground permeability in higher levels than those demanded by the City Hall regulations.

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Project name: Minas Gerais Federation of Commerce
Architecture: Gustavo Penna, Norberto Bambozzi, Laura Penna, Ricardo Gomes Lopes, Priscila Dias de Araújo, Vivian Hunnicutt, Alyne Ferreira, Catarina Hermanny, Ana Isabel de Sá, Natália Ponciano, Marcus Martins, Hiromi Sassaki, Alice Leite Flores
Location: Belo Horizonte/ MG/ Brazil
Year designed: 2010
Projected area: 10.072 m2
Images: Virtualmente