Designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy and built between 1949 and 1951, the Pedregulho housing development was intended as a model for subsidized lower-class housing. The 850 foot-long building, with its 272 apartments, met with effluent critical approval from such international figures as Max Bill, Walter Gropius, and Siegfried Giedion. It takes center stage in a broader development scheme consisting of four apartment blocks, an elementary school, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a health center, playgrounds, a laundry, and a daycare center.
Pedregulho’s third floor open corridor—the building’s main entry via bridges—provides communal space while allowing the building’s full seven stories to function without the aid of elevators. The building shares an intimate and sophisticated relationship with its sloping site. Perched on sturdy pillars, the building approximates a contour line with its floorplate and allows the ground to flow fluidly beneath it.
The project’s sinuous curve resembles Le Corbusier’s unrealized urban proposals for
Conceived as a white bastion of working class sanitation, Pedregulho is now more of a rotted hulk than