OAB Headquarters – Bahia

OAB Headquarters – Bahia

The design for the headquarters of the Bar Association of Brazil – Bahia chapter (OAB-BA) was developed to be set up in the State Administrative Center. The proposal includes the Association’s H.Q., as well as Escola Superior de Advocacia – ESA (Law School) and Caixa de Assistência dos Advogados da Bahia – CAA-BA (lawyers’ assistance fund), institutions whose operation is directly linked to OAB-BA.

The first design decisions were based on factors such as: building standards established by the Administrative Center Master Plan, which allowed a maximum 30% land-use, a rough topography and execution of the works in phases.

Following analysis of all the limiting factors, a longitudinal setup was chosen, following the main direction of the contour lines. The long and narrow volume consists of two main blocks set at opposing ends, connected via a canopy that bestows formal unity to the project, serves as a walkway and also shelters a restaurant and a bookstore.

In the section with a lesser slope, in the north portion of the lot, one finds the H.Q. and, in the remaining area on the opposite side, to the south, the law school and the CAA-BA building.

The idea of providing for permeability of the communal space materialized through the use of an open ground floor and transparent façades. It also represents a search for an urban environment that in all aspects identifies with the values of democracy, public goods and transparency.

The main building (OAB), organized around a courtyard, possesses a U-shaped plan and six floors (two underground, one at ground level and three standard floors). The ground floor, which is almost entirely open, gives access to two auditoriums. The circulation was solved via stairs and ramps with views of the building.

The ESA/CAAB block possesses five floors (two underground, one at ground level and two standard floors). CAAB occupies the two uppermost standard floors, while ESA takes up the two underground standard floors.

The new OAB headquarters was designed in a rigorous, objective and well-founded manner, aiming for the technical, temporal, and economic feasibility of its execution. Rule, repetition and modulation were the basic ideas behind its striking presence in the urban environment.

The reinforced concrete structure is organized via 7.5 x 8.0 meter modules. Concrete, glass and granite bestow a formal image to the building, due to their synthetic and discreet features.


Date: 2014
Location: Centro Administrativo da Bahia – Salvador/Bahia
GPS Coordinates: 12°57’16.4″S 38°25’54.5″W (see on google)
Status: Under Construction
Site Area: 8.680,00 m²
Size: 13.134,48 m²
Author: Adriano Mascarenhas
Contributors: Alberto Torreão, André Barros, Barbara Magalhães, Fabiana Moreira, Helder da Rocha e Larissa Lorenzo
Images: Collection Sotero Arquitetura