THEATRO OFICINA, Lina Bo Bardi, Brazil

A theatre that goes onto the squares, the streets, and invades the city!

“A street called Theater”

– Edson Elito (architect) 

This project is a restoration of an existing building into a theatre run by the Oficina Teatre Company. The building is located in Bexiga, Sao Paulo. Originally, this was a woking class neighborhood with a big Italian immigrant population. But in the 1980’s it became one of the socially diverse leisure and cultural areas of the city. The theatre burned down in 1966, and the remaining brick shell was used as a peoples theatre.

The theatre company that occupied this building aimed through their production to create a critical awareness amongst the locals about the current military dictatorship in Brasil. The building is 9m wide and 50 long and the plan that was developed for the building was to make it a corridor between two important pedestrian areas of the Bexiga neighborhood.

As a public street, this theatre would merge the past and present, the old and the new, architecture and the city, actors and audience – in a theatre without wings or curtains. This is a public street with no space for spectators, only for actors:  The public, the technicians, architecture, architecture and objects are literally on stage with the actors.The theatre is on longer a “box for dreaming in” but a real, possible way of life very close to that of everyday people in the street.


“Mr. Minister, don’t order theaters with stages and seating, leave the squares, the streets, the green, free; just order the construction of wooden stages open to the people and the Brazilian people will occupy them , ’improvising’ with its natural elegance and inteligence.”

– Le Corbusier