Migliari House is an impressive arrangement of white forms loacted in a suburban area of Brazil. Designed by Domo Arquitetos, the structure consists of several boxy forms, each of which contains a different space organized by function. The living spaces are separated by interior walls that feature cutouts, light wells, and large openings instead of traditional doors. The bedrooms are grouped together in the east wing of the home. The linear grouping of the bedrooms represents family union. The exterior is largely closed off from the street, allowing for an introverted space that emphasizes domestic life. The back of the home, however, features sliding glass doors that embrace the tranquil outdoors. I’m captivated by the concept of this home. I love how the different masses interact: their intersection creates exciting shapes and shadows. The division of space by individual forms is a logical and beautiful design for a family home.
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House Floradas is designed around interactions. The home is structured so each occupant knows where the others are located: allowing them to seek interaction or individuality. Designed by Obra Arquitetos, House Floradas is located in São Paulo, Brazil. The home consists of three stories with strategically placed openings. The openings on the exterior flood the home with light, while the interior voids distribute light and connect the internal spaces. House Floradas is a simple home with a big voice! The binding concept of interaction is brilliant for a family home. This concept is apparent throughout the structure, allowing for an elegance often found in form-follows-function design.
Brazilian photographer and architecture student Vinícius Vitoriano Barbosa, based in São Paulo, has recently created a minimalist photographic paper series titled, Less is More. The whole concept of the project can be summarised in this phrase by legendary abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann: The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. Vitoriano explains that the goal was to find an object as simple as possible that was capable of creating diversity, textures, shadow and light: the essence of photography. The chosen object to achieve this, was paper. Through this simple and commonplace industrialised material, were framed compositions of organic shapes that recall nature. What I particularly like about this project is that it gives the viewer a chance to be in touch with the essence of photography, rather than distract them with the trivial. Vitoriano has produced something really quite beautiful with this series. Less is indeed more.
Purpose Inc., a furniture and housewares company based in Utah, have designed this wonderfully minimalist take on an iconic symbol that is the rocking chair. They call it Rokur. Perfect for that moment of relaxation and reflection, this attractive chair design, particularly impressive from the side, has an ease and simplicity about it that features thin straight lines where possible. According to Purpose Inc.: The design was an attempt to capture the look and feel of relaxation. By removing extraneous patterns and ornate fillers, we created a chair that is as beautiful as it is functional. Rokur, featured here in Brazilian cherry, is also offered with seat and/or back cushions, but you wouldn’t want those, right?
Designed by typically minimalistic, contemporary-modern Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan and his StudioMK27, Casa Osler is composed primarily by two prismatic volumes in reinforced concrete, glass and wood, positioned in such a way as to leave plenty of open space for a swimming pool and garden. The downstairs prism contains the rooms and living areas, and the upper storey houses a kitchen with a privileged view. The house is fit for its location in Brasilia, with its tiled mural designed by Athos Bulcão, who had long years of collaborating with Brazilian modernist architects such as Oscar Nieyemer and Roberto Burle Marx. Photography by Zuleika de Souza & Claudio Dupas.
Lately I have been slightly obsessed with the work of photographer James Silverman. His ability to capture spatial qualities and light conditions of stunning homes around the world is endless. Today I would like to go back in time a little, featuring project from 2006 and designed by one of my all time favorite architects, Isay Weinfeld. Casa Iporanga is located in Iporanga, Brazil. Sophisticated layout and elegant use of materials seamlessly translate to incredible ease of living. Every room is connected to the outdoors, maximizing not only ventilation but also the luxury of such stunning environment. Weinfeld does his magic in carving out special zones within the property, combining envy-worthy luxury with casual settings where the comfort of living presents itself just the way it should be.
Based in São Paulo, independent fashion design brand Cotton Project seeks to produce quality pieces for a group of individuals who share the same lifestyle and a different perspective on beach culture. They aim to create clothes that are coherent with a tropical country like Brazil, but that nonetheless carry the cultural baggage inspired by youth subcultures of music, art, photography and fashion, and apply typical urban elements to the brazilian beach culture. We believe in a downsized brand, that connects to a global culture and is responsible for the environment it lives in. The clothes are visibly well-tailored and the brand styling is an exercise in simplicity. I love the apparent softness of the materials and their fit. The brand also pairs up with musicians, artists and designers in several one-off side projects, sell a range of accessories, magazines and other international design products often not available in South America, as well as housing open happy hour parties in their studio. A true lifestyle brand.
Remodeled by Brazilian architect Guilherme Torres, this building is originally a 1940′s construction and the former home to Victor Brecheret, famed Italian-Brazilian artist and sculptor. After his death in the 1950′s, for decades it served as a foundation of part of his collection and a deposit, being then acquired and re-designed by Torres as his own home and work space. The premise was to update the building, reflecting Torres’ contemporary language and preserving the basic structure. The floor plan hasn’t suffered many changes, mainly openings and finishing materials. The addition of a retractable glass roof, to be opened on summer days, helps to maintain a mild climate. The latticed wooden structure, descendant of the arabic mashrabiya, is an element often used in contemporary Brazilian architecture to assuage the strong sunlight. It follows the same pattern of the doorway structure, a striking element in the building’s composition. High in the façade, there is a neon piece by artist Pinky Wainer that reads: Land of the free, home of the brave. The combination of latticed structures and simple, geometric architecture is a very particular feature of contemporary Brazilian architecture, one I always enjoy finding. All the natural light filtering into the house gives it a light and airy feel… I’m...
Industrial designers John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen from Australia and Vitor Santa Maria from Brazil have collaborated to design the HiddenRadio, which is currently being funded through Kickstarter. Their approach to their work is simple product design that is both innovative and intuitive. The minimal HiddenRadio & Bluetooth Speaker design connects and captivates the user through its intuitive functionality. When asleep it hides all its functions. To turn it on you simply twist and lift the cap. The further you lift the cap the more internal volume is created and will amplify to over 80dB of crystal clear sound. Although it offers Bluetooth technology, if you don’t have a Bluetooth device, a 3.5mm audio input plug is available. The battery life is also an impressive feature, offering over 30 hours of power. A beautiful, unobtrusive and simple device, which I think is well worth backing.
studio sc is a food photography studio in São Paulo, Brazil, designed by Brazilian architects Marcio Kogan and Susana Glogowski from studio mk7, incorporating and synthetizing design principles from both modernist Brazilian architecture and contemporary Japanese architecture. The simple and linear building has its space greatly defined by the suspended concrete catwalk, connecting the two wooden boxes that house the specific programs necessary for the food photography studio, such as a technical kitchen for shoots and other technical and office rooms. Its double-height space is open and neutral enough for different configurations and maximized flexibility, with a longitudinal working area along the far wall. The sliding doors along the main facade and also around the wooden boxes, too, allow for several different configurations, customizing the layout according to the user needs. The building has its longitudinal disposition mainly in order to accomodate a generous outdoor garden, which I think nicely frames and complements the built space! Photography by Nelson Kon.
With its foundation in 1997 by Charles Cosac (brazilian enterpreneur and maecenas) and Michael Naify (north-american businessman), Cosac Naify is a highly established publishing house in Brazil. Their catalogue spans across a broad range of artistic fields, and with a body of graphic work that is notorious for its quality. Beside many of their original, bright and colorful designs, one can also find a vast number minimalistic covers. However, perhaps a photograph is not the best way to interact with the books, given that one of the most interesting aspects of Cosac Naify’s designs are their tactile quality, since they often work with textures and sensorial explorations in the reading experience. It’s always a great thing to hold a beautiful book in your hand!
Galeria Leme, a contemporary art gallery in the city of São Paulo, is a small yet poetic building by the Pritzker-winning Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Built in 2004, it has a bare concrete structure and the generous height of the main gallery room is open to slanted natural light by vertical openings and 45º-tilted walls. In fact, it’s these simple elements – concrete and light – that inspire pause and quiet appraisal. It appeals to me in a very similar fashion as Tadao Ando’s architecture does.