Project name : BIOTIC
Type : Master plan
Design : Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and Ernst & Young (EY)
Client : TerraCap
Year of development : 2017 – 2020
Mobility Consultant : Mobilitin the chain (MIC)
Sustainability Strategy : LAND
Engineering consultancy : Ai Engineering 

'BIOTIC' technology and innovation district for Brasilia revealed by Carlo Ratti - Sheet1

‘BIOTIC’ is a 10-million sq.ft. (1-million sq.m.) innovative and technology extension of a district master plan in Brasilia, Brazil designed by Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) together with Ernst & Young (EY), a consultancy firm for public real estate company TerraCap. Inspired by Brasilia’s UNESCO World Heritage masterplan, BIOTIC will be a high-tech innovation district with the principle of domesticating nature – creating a hybrid environment for both social, cultural, and environmental sustainability promoting outdoor working and living. 

 Initial sketch understanding the location and its parameters ©

“The first time I visited Brasília, a friend and long-time city resident told me a long-standing joke: ‘You know what the problem of Brasília is? The district of cafes is far away from the district of sugar’,” ~ Carlo Ratti

'BIOTIC' technology and innovation district for Brasilia revealed by Carlo Ratti - Sheet2
Aerial photo with actual site location ©

The program of BIOTIC will comprise of commercial, houses, offices, plazas, and parks, all of which combined to solve the long-standing issue of fragmented functions, lack of mixed use, and strictly functional division of the city. The master plan aims to blend urban scales defined according to modernist principles by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. BIOTIC will include the pre-planned four urban scales that Costa defined in the original plan of the ‘Plano Piloto/ Pilot project’ in 1955 as monumental, gregarious, bucolic, and residential. Unlike the original design new district will be positioned at the northern tip sited on a triangular plot of land between the UNESCO modernist capital and the national park of Brasilia, a 42,000-hectare vegetative green area in the northwest of the Federal district integrating them all with themselves and surroundings rather keeping them apart. 

The ideology by CRA centers on domesticating nature and climate bioremediation to create a hybrid environment for social and environmental sustainability. To create a mixed-use masterplan, the project subdivides the superblock into superquadra with streets fronts, pedestrian streets, blocks, and plazas to protect neighborhoods from traffic, pollution, and noise strengthening pedestrian correlation and open up social interaction and activities with green buffers. 

'BIOTIC' technology and innovation district for Brasilia revealed by Carlo Ratti - Sheet3
Comparing the previous masterplan superblocks and the proposed ones ©

‘Brasilia is a fascinating metropolis; a monumental axis and two wings that captivate you when you look at it from the plane.’ ~ Carlo Ratti

Brasilia with a mild climate all around the year allows envisioning the possibilities of an outdoor office environment in the day multipurpose with vibrant cafés and restaurants at night. Spaces designed to be tucked inside vegetable gardens, buffer green spaces, laboratories, parks, and ecological parks making people seamlessly move from private to public, open to secluded, and chaos to calm areas. 

The technology of curtain wall systems is exploited to its fullest with operable facades on the office buildings for 100% daylight usage and ventilation for an effective and efficient merger of interior and exterior environments.  

'BIOTIC' technology and innovation district for Brasilia revealed by Carlo Ratti - Sheet4
Renderings revealing the proposed design ©

Talking about innovations, creative mobility will be another aspect of BIOTIC with the site’s internal roads and streets accessible exclusively for shared vehicles and self-driving for positive change, low carbon footprint, improved traffic, and further opening of new opportunities with the spread of autonomous cars. The project intends to counter ‘Brasilia is an expanse of elegant monotony’ said by French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir proposition and brings vibrancy. The project was started in late 2018 and has been revealed now.  

'BIOTIC' technology and innovation district for Brasilia revealed by Carlo Ratti - Sheet5
A Rendered image of a proposed outdoor office interacting with nature and surroundings ©



RuchiKumbhani is currently a final year B. Arch student at PVP College of Architecture, Pune. She is a curious mind & travel enthusiast. With few days of intense binge indoors to days of cycling outdoor, she loves to observeinterrelationship of different settings/spaces and penning her thoughts over it.

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