CEEE Érico Veríssimo Cultural Center

The guidelines for the building conversion involved the compliance to contemporary requirements of comfort and safety to all users. It was decided, then, to radically change the movement principles inside the building, including wall demolition, floor replacement and new elevators (larger and more comfortable).

The building has, therefore, universal accessibility – in spaces that are not leveled with the main floor, access is through special equipment. There are four platform lifts: one from the ground floor to the mezzanine (café), one to the interactive museum of electricity (first floor), one to the conference room’s stage (second and third floors) and one to the library’s main room (fifth floor), and there is also one Stair Trac portable wheelchair lift to access the exhibition room (second and third levels on the ground floor).

When it comes to safety, the building meets all the requirements from the municipal government (Municipal Department of Works and fire protection and accessibility committees). There is an integrated system of fire control including a sprinkler system, a pressurized staircase and a fire escape which exits to Rua dos Andradas through a tunnel that crosses the building and ends at the reception room, giving access to the street.

Because this building has been listed by IPHAE (Rio Grande do Sul’s Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage), the project had to be approved by the Institute, and as it is located at Porto Alegre’s cultural corridor, it also had to be approved by EPHAC (Historical, Artistic and Cultural Heritage Team in the city’s Culture Department) and COMPHAC (Historical, Artistic and Cultural Heritage Committee of the Municipality of Porto Alegre).

It is fully equipped with heating, cooling, ventilation and air conditioning systems, a 50KVA transformer and a 60KVA electric generator.

The artworks shown in the building include local renowned artists such as Lia Menna Barreto (a panel between the first and third floors) and Leandro Slister (in the Erico Veríssimo Room). The scenography of the Interactive Museum of Electricity was designed by Elcio Rossini and its experiments were conceived and produced by Pedro Mohr (who also created some of the experiments at the Science and Technology Museum – PUCRS).

There is also a multiple-use 160 seat auditorium and lighting and sound systems that make it suitable for plays, musical performances (it also has dressing rooms) and movie sessions, as well as panels and seminars.

The building is also going to store book collections featuring writers from Rio Grande do Sul, notably Erico Veríssimo. There will be a special room for book storage, a room for researchers, and technical rooms for cataloging and bookbinding, besides a laboratory for restoration and conservation of books and documents. All this work will be done by ALEV (Erico Veríssimo Book Collection Association). Besides that, a library on the top floor will contain private collections of the greatest writers from Rio Grande do Sul.

THE BRIEF
Ground floor – Reception, CEEE’s Institutional Zone, Cultural Center’s Store/Library, Exhibit Room (170 square meters), and Mezzanine Café;
First floor – Interactive Museum of Electricity, Main Hall, MERGS’s Collection, and artistic panel by Lia Menna Barreto, which extends through the second and third floors;
Second floor – Erico Verissimo Room (with an artistic panel by Leandro Selister), Public Toilets, Mechanical Room, Dressing Rooms and access to the stage;
Third floor – Auditorium Foyer, Auditorium (seats, projection and sound control room, snack bar, and toilets), Multipurpose Room;
Fourth floor – General Administration, Press Office and Publishing Office, Stack Room, and Cataloging Room;
Fifth floor – Directors, Meeting Room, Restoration and Conservation Laboratory, Editing Room, and Library;
Top floor – Machine Room for Pressurized Staircase, Elevator, Energy Generator, Storage Tanks, and Cooling Towers.

Project
Flávio Kiefer
Location
Porto Alegre/RS
Site area
5540 m2
Built area
2800 m2
Project date
2001
Contributors
Carmen Nunes, Leonardo M. Hortencio, Marcelo Kiefer