Praça Cantão, Favela Painting Project, 2009–2010
Favelas ring Rio de Janeiro’s hillsides, and many of their residents still experience clashes between police and gangs. Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, of the Dutch partnership Haas&Hahn, created the Favela Painting Project to bring art and beauty to the built environment. In 2010, they employed local youth to paint murals over 7,000 square meters (75,000 sq. ft.) of the public square, thirty-four surrounding houses, streets, and the interior of a popular samba studio in the Santa Marta settlement. The design for Praça Cantão uses a flexible concept of colorful rays, which can easily be expanded further throughout the favela.
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