The Moreira Salles Institute (IMS) is a reference in the Brazilian cultural landscape and is dedicated to the dissemination of photography, music, literature and iconography, with one of the richest collections in the country.
Over the past few years, IMS has been pursuing the idea of using its collection also to produce knowledge. The first step was opening a new and truly modern building for its unit in São Paulo located on Paulista Avenue, an important cultural corridor in the largest city in Americas.
A competition was held to select the design for the new IMS. Andrade Morettin Associated Architects was chosen for its project that aimed to use the lightweighting aspect of steel as a structural element. Transparency was achieved through applying translucent glass and incorporating an open square located 58 feet above ground as the convergence point of the building, from which visitors can experience a unique view of one of the most vibrant regions of the city.
The result is one of the more architecturally eloquent buildings of the region and a new postcard for one of the world’s most iconic cities. The architects explain that using steel as the structural element came naturally due to its architectural plasticity and lightweighting capacity that allowed the designers to solve complex aspects of the project, like the expansive open spaces, tall ceilings and leaner sections.
Niobium microalloyed steel as hot rolled sections and plates comprised the welded profile and were produced by Gerdau in accordance with the ASTM A572 GR50 and ASTM A572 GR60 standards. These components were essential to achieving the structural goals and to improving the bearing strength of the floors that must withstand the weight of heavy artwork, such as sculptures and other large pieces.
Niobium microalloyed steels also provide considerable improvements to critical mechanical properties, such as strength and toughness, which is the resistance to deformation or breaking, and they also significantly improve weldability. The IMS structure used a total of 556 tonnes of niobium microalloyed steel.