Learn about PPS's Three-pronged Approach to Drive Change
Case Studies 

The Cube

São Paulo


Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
August 13, 2015
December 22, 2017

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

When a  construction company donated a shipping container to Oliveira Penteado Square in São Paulo, Placemaking group Bella Rua went to work on creating a new public space amenity. The group retrofitted three of the walls with hinges so that they could open up and reveal a stage for performers while closing at night for projected movies and storage. This corrugated steel box became a focal point of the park--a destination within the space that, when unpacked each morning, provided visitors with even more activities like giant checkers, painting and story time for kids, as well as café seating for relaxation. Visitors to the square were further encouraged to write suggestions for the space on the walls of “the Cube.” Rua-Cubed (Rua3), as the container is called, shows how a single, low-cost intervention can set the stage for even larger transformations of public spaces, generating excitement while gathering ideas for subsequent Placemaking actions.  

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Photo credits, from left: Bela Rua, Bela Rua via Facebook, Bela Rua via Facebook, Bela Rua via Facebook, Bela Rua via Facebook, Bela Rua

Follow Bela Rua

Website: belarua.com.br

Facebook: facebook.com/BelaRua

The Cube
Yoga at The Cube
The Cube
A tool for encouraging community input
The Cube
The Cube hosts activities for all ages
The Cube
Public art incorporating the audience into the piece
The Cube
Games help to activate the space
The Cube
The Cube
The Cube

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
Related Articles & Resources

More Related Articles

Learn about PPS's Three-pronged Approach to Drive Change