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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
A Brazilian architect, scenographer and film director, Isay Weinfeld chose to work with smaller scales than the usual curricula of monumental architecture shared by stereotypical Brazilian names, such as Oscar Niemeyer, Vilanova Artigas and Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Weinfeld’s work is intimate, contemporary, and beautifully minimalist. Known especially for his retail & commercial buildings in São Paulo, I believe he’s at his best when working with residential architecture. Casa Branca (“white house”) is a private house in São Paulo that at times has the feel of a contemporary art gallery, but without becoming sterile. There is character in its elegant simplicity. Weinfeld often writes about what is the meaning of luxury, of living well, and always reports back to the answer of simplicity, of needing and having and using less — a definite fit for minimalism. Photography by Cristiano Mascaro.
Oh boy, a minimalist villa… on the beach! This is Paraty House, located at Paraty, Brazil. It was designed by those Boys from Brazil, Marcio Kogan Architects. It consists of two 27m wide concrete boxes stacked upon each other, resulting in beautiful long lines and an amazingly huge ceiling. And check out the furniture – so many 20th century design icons! Photography by Nelson Kon.