From the remains of the Mariantônia buildings—formerly the human sciences department of the Universidade de São Paulo—Una Arquitetos created the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (“Institute of Contemporary Art”): a large open area as well as an arts center, an archive and a theater.
The original Edifício Rui Barbosa and Joaquim Nabuco were partially destroyed in 1968, during the politically-charged Maria Antônia street battles between conservatives from the Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie and USP students who were protesting against the dictatorship. After that the colleges were moved far away, to Cidade Universitária, to isolate students from direct contact with the city. The IAC, which opened in 2001, is an attempt to reintegrate the academic environment into the urban center by (quite literally) crafting a space where creative activities can take place.
Una Arquitetos, the forward-thinking firm that also converted the old post office in Vale do Anhangabaú into a cultural complex, represents the rise of a larger movement of young, energetic art and architecture collectives in São Paulo.