Fundação Integrada de Cultura (Integrated Cultural Foundation – FIC)

The basic site planning proposes a commercial axis where the current road that runs round the hill is turned into a street that has stores on one side (the hillside) and a wall on the other to allow a panoramic view. It also establishes a cultural axis that begins at the library and ends at the sports area and is formed by stairways and raked seating on the hillside, which may be the beginning of the Olympic village building process in the campus. The intersection of these two axis forms the campus corner, which is also a square, or many squares, open and covered, characterizing different points of arrival: there is a wide span under the museum (a reference to the successful belvedere created by Lina Bo Bardi for the São Paulo Museum of Art); an open area (limited by four façades) for open-air events where the fountain required by the competition brief is; and a metallic roofing, which is a functional and neutral space that is an organizing and servant space.

Besides allowing woodland preservation, the displaced siting authorized by the building regulations allowed the inexpensive placement of the large Merica Opera House concert hall and the balance between the many composition masses, providing the same symbolic relevance to different activities.


We have planned the Fundação Integrada de Cultura as a cultural center consisting of formally different cores which form a single and interdependent ensemble:

1 – Caxias do Sul Art Gallery
The spaces called “Art Sector” have almost all the features of an art gallery. We decided to add to the design program some essential items, actually creating an art gallery for the city of Caxias do Sul.

2 – Training and Information Center
We combined in the same assembly (a tower) spaces for training (rehearsal rooms and classrooms) and for the free cultural fruition (multimedia, audio library), making it easy to identify and access.

3 – Assembly Hall and Opera House
All the auditorium spaces are combined to maximize the use. Having all the rooms in a single space allows the center to work as a place for academic activities, seminars, meetings, lectures, etc. All the rooms work perfectly well by themselves, and the Merica Opera House also has an independent access, which represents its importance and relationship with the city. A mechanical floor interconnects all the stages and support rooms, making the operations more efficient.

4 – Open Air Liveliness
The external spaces like the raking seats, the acoustic shell and the squares are made for the development of cultural activities.

5 – Commerce / Services / Interaction
The access is covered in the cultural blocks, forming a big square for interaction where people can find stores, restaurants and other services, including kiosks and institutional modules (24 Hour Center, etc.).

6 – Management and Services
FIC’s management is discreetly located at a strategical point with many different accesses and is interconnected with the services and the garage.

A complete system of technical and maintenance services, garages and docks is completely independent from the movement of people and aims to provide the latest resources for environmental control and the enhancement of the many different artistic activities offered by FIC.


FIC’s design was created with stone, an abundant and valuable element from the state’s highlands, facing bricks and metallic panels. The combination of these different elements with the pure form of the volumes creates the idea of a small cultural acropolis. The facing brick tower, with its peculiar openings, centralizes the Foundation and becomes a reference for the ensemble, as it can be seen from far away. Dynamic resources and special illumination also enhance this effect.

The compound creates a variety of autonomous spaces to foster the enjoyment and artistic and cultural activities. There are also a series of routes and uses designed for the spaces, where specially invited artists will create significant cultural activity and enhance the role of design among the arts.

Flávio Kiefer
Caxias de Sul/RS
Site area
12000 m2
Built area
10630 m2
Project date
Arq. Carmen Nunes, Arq. Mário Fontanive, Eng. Gilson Esteves, Arq. Gianpietro Sanzi, Acadêmicas Adriane Nogueira Sciesleski e Mariana Aver Formento