SESC Guarulhos

Guarulhos / Brazil

2009 – 2014

Area: 34.200,00 sqm.


Winning project of the first public architectural competition promoted by SESC – Social Service of Commerce, in 2009.

As a public use building gathering activities of culture, sports, teaching, health, recreation and leisure, SESC Guarulhos was conceived as a great democratic and inviting space that seeks to encourage and stimulate encounters, coexistence and interaction among people.

Located in an urbanized area, near Guarulhos International Airport and Zezinho Magalhães Housing Complex, its surrounding landscape presents a heterogeneous design, at times fragmented and discontinuous, characteristic of urban environments in the process of growth and transformation.

In this context, the project seeks to emphasize SESC’s condition as a social communicator and cultural polarizer through an architecture oriented not only to the specific solutions of its activities and functions, but also to the construction of a more continuous, cohesive and unitary urban scenario.

Access to the building is generous and non-intimidating. Designed as an extension of the urban courses, it kindly seeks to invite visitors to know and use the unit.

Internally, the spaces are structured around a large Coexistence Plaza that receives external flows and concentrates, articulates and distributes the various activities of the complex. As a transparent space and permeable to visual perspectives, this integrative plaza exposes the happenings of the building and incorporates the surrounding landscape into its internal environments. A roof system consisting of metal grids, glass, air extractors and horizontal louvers made of perforated aluminum for sun protection, filters out natural light crowning this diaphanous space.

The internal circulations organized simply and precisely by ramps, walkways and corridors overlooking the Coexistence Plaza, expose the movement of users and reinforce the extrovert character of the building.

Its program is distributed into three levels:


GROUND FLOOR – The Coexistence Plaza opens up its surroundings to Customer Service, Exhibition Rooms, Dental Clinic, as well as Children’s and Youth Recreation Ambiances.

On this level, the indoor Sports Gymnasium and its supporting toilets and locker rooms complete the public fruition areas.

With independent accesses, the Loading and Unloading Patio and the Operational Sector are located next to the two vehicle parking levels. This arrangement organizes service flows and provides operational efficiency for the Theater, Restaurant, and other areas of the complex.


INTERMEDIATE FLOOR – The Theater, with its foyer facing the void of the Coexistence Plaza, conforms to an independent solid body – its dimensions of audience, stage, wings and backstage adapt to the various use demands required by SESC.

On this level, favoured by the natural topography of the land, there are the Aquatic Complex (covered and uncovered) and the outdoor Sports Courts. The Food Court facing both the Coexistence Plaza, and the pools with solarium areas, offers users the delight of varied visual perspectives.

Also distributed on this level, there are the Administration, Library, Environmental Station and external garden spaces.


SUPERIOR FLOOR – on the top floor are located the rooms for Multipurpose, Multifunctional Gymnastics and Physical Activities. Their access corridors, besides turning to the Coexistence Plaza, run through the double-height voids of the Sports Gymnasium and Indoor Pool. A balcony for outdoor body activities, facing the Aquatic and Sports Center, enhances the use of these rooms, and shades the Food Court on the lower floor. A complete Music Center concludes the spaces of this dynamic activity complex.


Open Competition – 1st prize.



Nelson Kon / SESC-SP

Pedro Mascaro / SESC-SP