The Espírito Santo do Cerrado Church community center, located in the southeast of Brazil, in a suburb of Uberlândia, was built on the initiative of a group of Franciscan monks who wanted to equip the local community with a space for gathering, a church, and a leisure area. The lack of funds called for a simple project that could be built with reused materials and amateur workers, through an active participation process involving everyone in the community.
Three concatenated circles adapt to the slope of the site, which descends along the main avenue. A small residential zone, with bedrooms for nuns, takes up the gap between the church and the meeting room. Due to economic constraints the use of concrete is reserved for the essential components of the structure, where also salvaged bricks are used for infill. Over the round wall of the church a double cement ring conceals an embedded jardinière that collects rainwater and drains excess through gargoyles. Lina Bo Bardi wanted to convey the sensation of nature colonizing architecture, with water courses integrated in the structure and plants that jut out directly of the walls.