Author : Emily Von Moger

University : Deakin University

Status : MArch, 2014

Advisor : Diego Fullaondo

Title : NEW ROCINHA | An Architectural ecosystem composed through the interplay between chaos and order

Year // 2064_ [ Overpopulation ] within large cities is becoming extremely volatile. With rapid density levels causing an increase in pollution, lack of natural environment, and unsafe conditions to live in.

This could be the world we live in. Through drawing on a combination of issues within Brazilian Favela communities and authorities, and by taking a look at societies forced into isolation, these analysis have lead to the development of [ New Rocinha ]

The project draws on a dystopian future caused by a major global financial crisis within Rio de Janeiro, and a disconnection with authorities and local communities. One of the largest favela’s, Rocinha, becomes a [ Utopian ] solution to the thousands of homeless citizens.

Choosing to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, they develop an architectural ecosystem to tackle various issues for survival in what will become [ New Rocinha ]

“My home is the only world I know”_ After the great economic global crisis of 2024, the Favela of Rocinha closed its gates to the entire outside world : Officially forming a parallel micro city between them [ + ] the rest of Rio de Janeiro.

Today, 120,000 people fill the homes and compacted land of New Rocinha, a society born from the rubble of Rio de Janeiro’s discarded materials.

As many local communities were crushed financially during the crisis; thousands of people lost their jobs. With no income, they were forced out of their homes. Streams of people began to trickle into the already overpopulated favelas.

Today, 120,000 people fill the homes and compacted land of New Rocinha, a society born from the rubble of Rio de Janeiro’s discarded materials.

As resilience in architectural design becomes a necessity for survival within this dystopian context, a set of five architectural systems are formed to tackle these major issues. All of which have a strong relationship to the surrounding environment and constantly changing communal space.

These ordered systems intertwine with the current chaos, and ensure this new society is able to function, and live within their own voluntary isolation.

[ New Rocinha ] was built not on a hierarchy of financial power and gain, but rather a community of souls working together to stay afloat. A bond formed through the unruly array of construction.

A wall-like structure is formed using both existing shanty homes on the outskirts of the favela, meshed together with scraps of sheet metal, leftover bricks and other materials available to the inhabitants.

This great architectural infrastructure becomes a mask over [ New Rocinha ] , hiding its true identity from the outside world. The goal through the camouflaged architectural technique is to deter people from wanting to enter the new society. In contrast, an ordered circulation system is formed on the interior of the Wall to allow for clear access throughout the perimeter of the wall, connecting the entire perimeter of this isolated area as one [ micro city community] .

“May one man’s trash be another man’s treasure”_ I would say as I graciously collect the nuts and bolts discarded at an abandoned construction site. Recycling is something that inhabitants of [ New Rocinha ] do naturally, without expensive schemes, they are forced to adapt and [ reuse ] scarcity as a resource to survive. Thus, engineering aspects and methods function better than the formal city around it.

[ New Rocinha ] sheds light on the innovative design found within slums and favelas around the world and the need for resilient architectural forms to be used in such conditions. Recycling and reuse of waste intertwines this new society together; combined with the importance of social interaction and connection as a community.

This project introduces a community driven focus in a rapidly overpopulating area; engaging with the old Rocinha, in transforming the overall ecosystem in an integrated way.

The Recycling system is designed around the core process and functionality of the recycling plant necessary.

An area of favelas has been selected on the flattest part of the site, in order to minimize demolition and reconstruction. The current walls and roofs remain, whilst the interior is removed to allow for an ordered steel structural system to be placed within. The [ chaotic built environment ] protects the recycling process, of which recycles all unwanted and unused materials to be REdispersed back into the favela.

To tackle the lack of green space, a [ modular system ] has been designed to allow for green urban farms to grow throughout the favela. Situated above the current concrete landscape, not only does this allow for the community to grow their own produce, but an additional vertical circulation pathway is formed within small farming clusters.

Passive cooling systems and shading is used as necessary, and individual elements such as storage, planting and access can be added by the individual as necessary.

The [ modular system ] allows for versatility by each occupant, however is ultimately controlled by the chaotic built environment as they are placed over the dwellings as required; not harming the current buildings structural integrity.

[ Filtration ] dams and testing facilities are situated at the highest point of the site, where the natural water springs are located. The structure is that of an oblique form to follow the natural flow of water, increase versatility of the structure, and blend in with the topography of the site.