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The restoration of the century-old Santa Luzia chapel at the property of Cidade Matarazzo

Opened in 1922, the Santa Luzia Chapel at the property of Cidade Matarazzo in São Paulo is undergoing careful restoration by a team of experts.

Designed by Italian architect Giovanni Batista Bianchi (1885-1942), who arrived in São Paulo in 1911, the Santa Luzia Chapel will undergo two phases of restoration in order to recover the original splendor of the historical landmark.

The initial phase is excavation. In order to create an underground parking lot below the Chapel, beams will be strategically placed to suspend the building before beginning to dig out the earth beneath. Meanwhile, a group of engineers will monitor the Chapel daily checking for fissures in its structure, ensuring that nothing compromises the near 95-year-old building.

The second phase of the restoration is to conserve the cultural heritage of the building, preventing any further damage through carefully planned interventions. The interior of the Chapel will be fully restored, as well as the furnishes including benches, kneelers, the Italian marble altar, and paintings on the walls. The neoclassical façade in yellow Sienna, which imitates marble following the ancient scagliola technique (widely used in Italy since the Renaissance), will also be meticulously restored.

In partnership with the public administration responsible for São Paulo’s architectural heritage, the team of restoration experts at Cidade Matarazzo will provide the delicate Chapel with a second life, reinvigorating its spirit and the legacy of Italian architecture recognized in 20th century São Paulo.

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Technical methodology of Santa Luiza chapel’s works

“We are re-energizing dormant gems, renewing them, giving them new life. As we embark on this project, we would like to clarify that there is absolutely no semblance of disrespect nor vandalism present in how we are going about our renovation process. What we are doing is above all a declaration of love to the city of São Paulo, an awakening, a tribute to these precious gems that, after so many years, could use some polishing”, stated entrepreneur Alexandre Allard, leader of the innovative Cidade Matarazzo.

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