As part of the redevelopment of the port area of Rio de Janeiro, This project was created aiming the implementation of the new Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) and Escola do Olhar. It is an initiative led by City Hall, the Roberto Marinho Foundation and the State and Federal Governments. The set is located in Mauá square, close to the site where the Museu do Amanhã, designed by Spanish Santiago Calatrava, will be erected.
The design dealt with the adaptation of three existing buildings: the Palacete Dom João (erected in 1910, it possesses an ecletic style), the old Rio bus station and the Civil Police Hospital, a modern building erected In 1940. The ecletic building and the station are protected under heritage acts. That is, besides their different status and levels of preservation.
Their respective programs diverge as well; MAR is an art museum, with Paulo Herkenhoff as curator, it holds exhibition rooms where works a theme, from several private collections; Escola do Olhar, in turn, has been planned to maintain an academic program that delves into art, image culture, education and curatorship, destined, in great part, to students and public school teachers. While the older building was intended for the museum, because of its high ceilings and open plan, the newer will go to to the school, in addition to gaining multimedia rooms and an administration. Access to the set will between the two and the ground floor of the school has been transformed into a type of reception under pilotis with a space reserved for the exhibition of sculptures. Patron circulation will take place from top to bottom, culminating in the suspended square on the rooftop of the highest building, where the bar and cultural & leisure event area will be found.
To unify the buildings, the architects created a suspended walkway originating on the fifth floor of the newest construction and a lighter wavy roof which houses a suspended square. The removal of the uppermost floor of the more recent construction has been proposed in order to balance the height of the set.
On the school´s building, the sealing masonry finish has been substituted with translucent glass profiles that make the structural organization visible; it is composed of pillars and setback columns. The old canopy from the station will serve the lavatories, store, loading and unloading dock and storage areas.