Oscar Niemeyer‘s Refurbishment’ a masterpiece brought to life by the talented creators Felipe Hess and Renata Pedrosa.
This project is exclusively residential, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. One of the primal reasons I fell in love with it is that It is a 140sqm Oscar Niemeyer creation which was completely demolished with the only remaining structural properties being the columns and shafts which determine the new build division. When you take on the great challenge such as the refurbishment of a Niemeyer you take on the world and since the world is our oyster all can be accomplished.
This project entailed the conversion of an original devised three bedroom interior into an open space contemporary loft. A loft with fluid circulation and grand social spaces with no permanent partitions. In order to achieve this openness the architects, Felipe Hess and Renata Pedrosa, cleverly divided the private from the social spaces by the introduction of a central block dividing the two activities. Facing the private areas the block contains linen storage and closets, and on the other side looking at the social area it hosts shelving with memorabilia, a built in concrete bench and the absolute naked concrete kitchen. The overall design consists of what I call absolute sexiness. Raw exposed distressed concrete, exposed piping, stark white walls and ceiling protruding symmetry. In combination with these finishes lies the perfect merge with the introduction of wide floor boards and wooden shelving that introduce warmth and sensuality. This controlled order creates an interior which is the epitome of modern loft living with the ambience of contemporary living.
Throughout the interiors concrete is also introduced as solid fixed furniture unit. This material escapes the structural scope and becomes part of the usable everyday furniture units. In the kitchen the pure concrete island created by Onofre also protrudes to create a breakfast table. This in turn acts as a kitchen perimeter and in line with the white ceiling it creates a clear and clever division. This plaster white ceiling was introduced in the space to bring warmthness and balance.
With a great view of the skyline there is also ample of natural daylight that enters the loft. This feature also plays a key role in the open circulation fluidity concept. There are no barriers, no walls, no end of way in the structural design that compliment these passages of ray of light. One of the great aspects of this flat is the steel robust open-able sliding side doors. The bedroom dividers once opened become one with the exposed column and act as part of the design neatly folded on either side. All of these exposed columns and slabs have been retained from the original structure which preserves the buildings history. Opposite the bedrooms full height doors stands proudly an original concrete wall with a 50 year old historical journey which all the flaws have been untouched to also preserve the architectural importance.
Everywhere within the interior there is a surprise element. A character that is dancing around the rigid concrete structure flirting with it. These surprise elements are present by the fun memorabilia on the shelves, by the selective bright coloured furniture & fixture pieces, by the free standing tub in the glazed partition, looking out to the social space. This is the true subtle line between strictly private and teasingly private. To our eyes this interior is full of quirks and imbalances for enthusiastic characters. It is a residence where you initially think that there can be strict perimeters between my entertaining and my solitude. However solitude is meant to be broken, and in this project it can be achieved through cleverness and discretion.
This loft portrays an idea and a lifestyle that I believe in !
It expresses the sexiness that a raw material can have, it portrays how important balance is in order to achieve the perfect harmony, it respects personal time while hosting party time and it lets you toy with privacy while allowing you to question just how much you truly need it.
Architects: Felipe Hess and Renata Pedrosa
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Project area: 140sqm
General Contractor: Pórtico Engenharia
Concrete furniture: Onofre
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Fran Parente
sources: Fran Parente
- Oscar Niemeyer Redux: Loft Renovation in Brazil ArchDaily (apartmenttherapy.com)