Canuanã Farm School is an institution maintained by the Bradesco Foundation in the municipality of Formoso de Araguaia, in the interior of the state of Tocantins, Brazil. The rural school, located on the banks of the Javaés River, operates as a boarding school, serving the children of settlers, caboclos, and indigenous people who live in the rural areas of central-northern Brazil, offering housing facilities, communal spaces, and learning environments for its students and staff.

Over the years, several buildings have been constructed around the farm headquarters. In 2017, architects were called upon to develop the project for the Employees’ Village and their families. Soon after, our office was hired to develop the landscaping project.

The landscaping project for Canuanã Farm School encompasses the Employees’ Village, the cafeteria and its surroundings, and was conceived inspired by the characteristics of the natural environment. Thus, floral arrangements were included that evoke mainly the Cerrado biome, but also feature elements from the Amazon Rainforest and the Pantanal biome.

The intention behind using native specimens was to enhance the ecogenic potential of conservationist landscaping and, above all, highlight the socio-environmental identity of the people who inhabit and frequent these spaces.

The soil and terrain conditions allowed for the creation of well-structured flower beds with large masses, designed to require minimal maintenance and develop in the most spontaneous and natural way possible, showcasing their full landscaping and ecological potential. The same approach was taken in the selection of tree species, which have complementary phenology, ensuring flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

Another important aspect was the conditioning of the microclimate of each area through landscaping. Shaded areas were created strategically to reduce solar exposure in high-traffic or high-stay points for users.

In the residential village, pathways were created to connect outdoor spaces and architectural units. The paving was designed to resemble nature and ensure soil permeability, consisting of grassy paths and gravel-covered dirt roads.

Arrival and gathering spaces were created, such as small squares that articulate the overall design, featuring reinforced concrete furniture, as well as two common areas with barbecues and metal coverings to humanize the areas and encourage their use. A central square is marked by a circular sunken bench that invites exchanges and interactions among residents.

The positioning of trees was done to shade the north and west faces of the buildings. As urban landmarks, the Tamboril tree (Eterolobium sp.) was chosen as a symbolic species to mark the most relevant gathering areas. Landscaping compositions were created along the boundaries between residences to both decorate and soften the division, resulting in a more unified landscape.

The design of the surroundings of the cafeteria building follows the same conceptual line, with a wide square surrounding the building, featuring an existing large Mango tree as a central landmark. Volumes were created to address the terrain’s irregularities, forming large outdoor benches. In addition to native species, fruit-bearing, medicinal, and aromatic plants were included to compose an edible garden, also used in environmental education activities, for example.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados, Rosenbaum Arquitetura

Photographed by Pedro Kok

Location: Formoso do Araguaia city, Tocantins state – Brasil

Design year: 2019

Year Completed: 2022


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