São Paulo studio Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos has renovated an apartment in the city for a local family, utilising the furniture, cladding and exposed details to create social spaces that are “deeply Brazilian and vividly cosmopolitan”.
For the 376-square-metre ER Apartment, the architects divided the layout into two – placing an open social area and guest suite in one half, and the private rooms in the other.
The social area comprises an expansive, combined dining and living space with access to multiple planted balconies.
Walls in this area are lined with vertical slats of pale timber, interrupted by panels of jade-coloured onyx that extend out to form side tables next to sofas.
Behind the onyx wall panel is a hidden hemispherical light fixture, which glows softly through the stone when illuminated.
The eclectic furniture in the living area ranges from a chaise lounge by Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, and vintage chairs by Svante Skogh and Kurt Østervig, to a double-sided stool by contemporary Brazilian designer Claudia Moreira Salles.
“The clients worked with [us] to develop social zones that are both deeply Brazilian and vividly cosmopolitan,” said Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos.
In the dining room, a large walnut table is shaped to follow the curves of the walls and is accompanied by a set of Erik Buch chairs.
A pair of Prop Lights by Dutch designer Bertjan Pot hang from the concrete ceiling, which was exposed during the renovation in this and several other rooms.
This side of the apartment also includes a custom wine cellar and a kitchen where a breakfast bar extends from a drum-like plaster form that incorporates the sink.
The private half of the home includes the primary suite, bedrooms and a toy room for the daughters, storage space and a shared bathroom.
Most of the materials in these spaces are natural, and the clients required “sustainability certificates for every piece of wood used in the renovation” according to the designers.
“The couple loves object design, just like us, so we took a lot of care and made some special designs for them, so the apartment would be unique and a different experience,” the studio said.
Custom pieces include a trough-like bronze and stone sink in the primary bathroom, a cocktail table in the lounge, and an “almost religious” niche and closet set into the entryway.
The family’s extensive collection of contemporary Brazilian art is also showcased throughout the home, including works by Ana María Tavares, Gabriela Costa and Matias Mesquita.
In densely populated São Paulo, apartment living is extremely common and architects often have to get creative to add character to generic spaces.
Recently completed examples include a duplex penthouse with a sculptural staircase, a home filled with different textures, and a residence where the concrete structure is left fully exposed.
The photography is by Fran Parente and image production is by Victor Correa.