The Jury's appraisal
The reclaiming of Praça Mauá as a public space is an intervention of great importance for the historic centre of Rio de Janeiro. The landscape project is guided by respect for the historic hierarchies of space. It takes advantage of the existing groups of trees to create shaded resting areas at the edges of the square. High-level lighting and new diagonal lines of trees combine to keep the central area open for public use, while at the same time shaded.
In a unique historic context, the city of Rio de Janeiro is making the most of its Olympic opportunity to revitalise itself and offer new scenarios in a strategic zone situated in the centre of the city and the port.
Unfortunately, in recent decades and owing to the infrastructure policies and uses implemented (an elevated viaduct and the sheds of the port itself, the samba schools and other industrial-type activities), the districts of Gamboa, Saúde y Santo Cristo have become considerably deteriorated, making this area fairly inaccessible to the cariocas.
The project for the renovation of Plaza Mauá entails the creation of a new cultural public square and a space for the city to connect with the sea. In this regard, Plaza Mauá becomes a new pole of attraction not only for the neighbours of the bordering district but also for anyone who wishes to rediscover the centre of Rio de Janeiro, as after many years it is recovering the connection of the historic city with Guanabara Bay, reclaiming the outline of the original square with the addition of a great tree-lined perimeter cloister holding leisure areas in its urban façades and opening up its fourth façade to the bay.
A large quantity of uses with urban weight currently occupy Plaza Mauá: a terminal for seafaring passengers, the foyer of the Rio Art Museum, the Barón de Mauá grandstand, etc.