The Architecture of the Duplex

Museum of Energy of Itu

Entrance of Museum of Energy of Itu (2021) by Flávio TorresThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

The Architecture of the Duplex

Itu is among the few cities in the state of São Paulo that still maintains a few rare single-story and two-story houses from the colonial period. One of these estates is the Museum of Energy duplex, a remaining example of the urban architecture of the 19th Century.

Facade of the Itu Energy Museum (2009) by Caio MattosThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

The project

This exhibit presents observations brought up by the executive project for the restoration of the Museum of Energy duplex. The project was developed in 2023 by Estúdio Sarasá, with support from the São Paulo state government’s Cultural Action Program. 

Itu public garden (1929)The Energy and Sanitation Foundation

The ituanian territory

Despite the indigenous presence in the region preceding the colonial period, the construction of a chapel dedicated to the image of the Virgin of Candelaria, and thus the founding of the Village of Itu in 1610, by Domingos Fernandes and his brother-in-law, Cristóvão Diniz. 

Bandeirista House, Rosario Farm by Flávio TorresThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

The village of Itu

Between 1750 and 1850, the sugar economy flourished in the land of Itu. This economic prosperity was brought forth through the exploitative labor of enslaved African people and was followed by an increase of Itu’s population and urban center. The Museum was built in 1847.

Signature of Dona Ignacia Joaquina Correa Pacheco (1888)The Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Pacheco family

From 1847 onwards, the dulplex became the residence of Dona Ignacia Joaquina Correa Pacheco, due to her second marriage to her cousin. Both lived in the townhouse for 40 years and actively participated in local social life.

Occupancy of the duplex

The first surveys done on the duplex suggested that originally, near the beginning of the 19th century, the building then owned by the Correa Pacheco family had been a single-floor house made with rammed earth, having received the second pavement sometime after 1847 – the year inscribed onto the main door’s flag. However, during the Estúdio Sarasá survey, it was understood that the building had always been a two-story house, with many of its aspects having characteristics of the Pombaline architecture.

Light Agency in Itu (2024)The Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Electricity Companies

The duplex was inherited by his nephew Francisco de Assis Pacheco, who sold it to the Companhia Ytuana de Força e Luz. After 1908, when it was sold to the Companhia Ituana de Força e Luz, the house housed, for 90 years, the offices of the electricity that operated in the city.

Repairs to the Itu Light agency building, 1942, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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Mediation at the Eletropaulo Museum, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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They were: Ituana (1908-1927), São Paulo Light & Power (1927-1981), Eletropaulo (1981-1997) and Empresa Bandeirante de Energia (1997-1998). In 1998, the Itu duplex was donated to the Energy and Sanitation Foundation, which then initiated its restoration. The Museum of Energy was inaugurated December 14th, 1999.

Rammed Earth (2023) by Flávio TorresThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Audio - São Paulo’s Architecture
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São Paulo’s Architecture

What makes up the architecture of a region? Who decides on the aesthetic values and principles that guide how the development of a city unfolds? Does São Paulo genuinely have an architectural style?

Taipal (2024) by Flávio TorresThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

 Rammed earth

Rammed earth is the name of a technique that consists in battering or pestling mud and wooden beams into a lath wall (the mud is incremented with other materials for better adhesion). It is made row by row, with enough time passing between each placement for the mud to dry.

Stick to chop (2023) by Gustavo MoritaThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Wattle and Daub 

The wattle and daub technique was used in many different types of constructions, such as slave quarters, main churches, single-floor and even multiple-floor houses. It was a type of construction that catered to the needs of both low and high income populations. 

Thermal camera (2023)The Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Pombaline Taipa 

The Pombaline Taipa is a mixed technique of Portuguese origin. It is comprised of a wooden beam structure (cage system) filled in with a mixture of earth and fibers, covered with soil plastering.

Garden beforeThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Audio - Museum of Energy duplex
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New forms of sociability

“The townhouses built throughout the 19th century show a slow approach by the coffee growing elites towards new forms of sociability in salons, large enough to host parties and soirees that brought together families, who were previously more reserved”.

Garden before, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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Garden later, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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Educational Action Room Before, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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Educational Action Room Later, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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Images record the changes in the gardens and the educational room of the house at different moments in the building's history.

Golden room beforeThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Audio - Rooms and garden
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Golden room before

In most of the rooms on the upper floor there are some recurring elements of the waterproof bar in imitation stone and “trompe l’oeil”, traces of decorative fillets, as well as pictorial mosaic treatments in the corners above the waterproof bar.

Golden room Later, From the collection of: The Energy and Sanitation Foundation
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Golden Room of the Energy Museum

Visit to the Museum of Energy of ItuThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Our heritage

In the context of cultural and architectural heritage, words like restoration and conservation can often be found in the literature and research. However, on a day to day basis, it is the Cultural Heritage Stewardship that provides the essential care to the estates.

Sample recollectionThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Janitorial

Janitorial is understanding and practice for everyone. It is through “everyone” that different generations speak, listen and are welcomed. It is established in the knowledge shared by the community, in techniques.

Building Heritage Workshop (2023) by Barbara TrusThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Audio - Janitorial
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Workshop “Stone, Earth and Pau building heritage”

"Janitorial care, more than repairs, is the care you have constantly and permanently for what is dear to your society, which belongs to it as a form of identity”.

WorkshopThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Workshop “Stone, Earth and Wood building the heritage”

A part of the duplex’s executive restauration project implemented in 2023 by Estúdio Sarasá, with support from the São Paulo state government’s Cultural Action Program.

Sample collection (2023) by Ana SbrissaThe Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Samples

Gathering of samples for the duplex’s executive restauration project. 

Visit to the Museum of Energy of Itu (2023)The Energy and Sanitation Foundation

Human Walk

It's not just about changing a tile to protect it from the rain, but continuing the narrative of how to produce the tile, the types, formats, and giving visibility to the human journey in this production process.

Janitorial care is based on assisted learning, the recovery of construction techniques and traditional knowledge, the culture of memory and the attribution of values ​​to heritage by the community, with the appreciation of the human dimension. Janitorial care is not just a one-off reparative or protective measure, it is an experience, experiment and the evocation of the spirit of preservation through sensitivity. It is the vitality of the arts and cultural assets, of their memories and of their people.

Credits: Story

Production Credits
The Energy and Sanitation Foundation | Board of Administrators


President Claudinéli Moreira Ramos 


Vice-President Mariana de Souza Rolim


Executive Direction Rita de Cássia Martins Souza



 Museum of Energy of Itu

Coordinator Ana Sbrissa


Education Division Pedro Scavacini


Interns Barbara Trus | Matheus Souza | Stefani de Sousa



Exhibit “The Architecture of the Duplex”
Research Ana Sbrissa | Fernanda Morais


Texts Ana Sbrissa | Fernanda Morais


Review Mariana de Andrade Dias da Silva



Technical Review Flávia da Rosa Sutello | Jaine Fernanda Mendonça Anunciação

Translation Gabriel Almeida Couri
Narration Flávia Meira | Ronaldo Gomes

Exhibit Project Ana Sbrissa | Fernanda Morais

Photography Estúdio Sarasá collection | The Energy and Sanitation Foundation collection. | Republican Museum collection “Convenção de Itu” - MP/USP.

Technical Support

Many thanks to Rosário Ranch. 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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