Acqua Villa Masterplan, Brasil

A challenge to the current models of residential development to improve sustainability, working with Brazilian developers CAENGE.

Brazil’s cities are being transformed by rapid changes in population and associated urban development. There is no single solution of how development could be more sustainable, not least due to huge climatic variations across the country.

We were invited to work with Brazilian developers CAENGE to challenge their current model of residential development on this urban extension to the country’s capital Brasilia. The existing development model was based around a low rise and gated development. In collaboration we revisited the masterplan and developed a phased approach to reducing the environmental impact of development and improving community cohesion.

In the first phase we focused on bringing in community facilities, play areas and ecological areas into the site. We also developed a plan for a model house based on passive design principles to reduce cooling demand and developed a sustainable materials palate appropriate for the local climate. We revisited the streetscape, reducing provision for cars, improving walk and cycleways, introducing tree planting to create safer more comfortable streets.

In phase 2, we reviewed the local infrastructure provision and developed approaches for water supply, sustainable drainage systems, and district cooling. We also investigated increasing urban density and encouraging a greater mix of housing types to cater for different income groups.


CAENGE, Brazil



Image Credits: CAENGE and USP