Sleek simplicity A true shopping center for the millennium, Santa Ursula is a vertical urban marketplace with a crisp, dramatic design. Situated on a full city block in the center of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, the four-level center is planned and designed to attract shoppers, diners and entertainment seekers. In the category of New Enclosed Centers, RTKL Associates Inc., Dallas, was awarded the 2000 SADI for its design work on the development.

A series of large entryways defined by canopies, extensive windows and uniquely shaped skylights opens the center to street and sky. The layout of the building is designed around two glass-covered atrium spaces, each with distinct spacial and architectural characteristics. It is the contrast between these two spaces and the manner in which they connect and interact that animates the retail center's interior.

A skylight shaped like a truncated cone defines the larger of the two atrium spaces. The second atrium space is elliptical with an overhead ellipse skylight. Both atriums are envisioned as "rooms" in reference to the European tradition of thinking of civic spaces as extensions of personal living space.

Santa Ursula's exterior architecture is clean and exciting, with brick and bands of aluminum used extensively to accentuate the design. Entrances, the dramatic atrium spaces, critical transition points and the intervening corridors are all designed with character and rich detailing.

AWARD RECIPIENT RTKL ASSOCIATES INC. Dallas * rtkl.com

CLIENT ALMEIDA JUNIOR SHOPPING CENTERS Sao Paulo, Brazil Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: Aluizio AM d'Avila, Sao Paulo, Brazil (structural consultant); Theo Kondos Associates, New York (lighting); Operacao, Sao Paulo, Brazil (MEP consultant); Villiares, Sao Paulo, Brazil (elevators and escalators); Portobello, Sao Paulo, Brazil (ceramic tile flooring)