Living an ocean view or a brazilian buzz in Sãu paulo: the city's colours and wind gusts in inland canyons. a journey into boundless horizons
Brazil is a country of boundless horizons, a vast repertoire of natural beauty: mountains, volcanoes, deserts canyons, prairies, forests and jungle. All enhanced with spectacular coasts enjoying the ocean. But Brazil is also urban, and its urban fabric is changing fast. New architectural constructions are sprouting up everywhere, over a brief ‒ extremely brief ‒ timespan. These then stand as compass points, marking out the way to people living in them. They resonate between past and present, change and novelty. The Zephyros west wind blows as accomplice, bringing a contemporary air to the most conventional traits of Brazilian culture ‒ especially in its most vibrant city, Sãu Paulo.
Architecture itself is being influenced ‒ especially by European examples ‒ without erasing the well-rooted and traditional history of the country, yielding a mix of colours and materials. A blend that stirs a craving to emigrate, if only for a few months.
We visit Casa Plana, inland from Sãu Paulo, where the home's silhouette merges with Brazil's enticing undulant nature. Then the new Brazilian headquarters to Nice, a company choosing this city as well as the architect Mario Cucinella for its cutting-edge and eco-friendly complex in harmony with nature. But also the Heritage and Cyrela residential towers designed by Pininfarina, in Sãu Paulo's urban core.
CASA PLANA || A home camouflaged among nature
MK27 architecture office
The landscape is one of gently rolling hills, open fields, copses and small clear lakes. The location: inland in the State of São Paulo. Occupying a slight rise in the ground, Casa Plana artfully dialogues with its context to almost completely conceal itself in the luxuriant and welcoming vegetation while nevertheless asserting its own identity.
The design displays minimalist geometric features, hinting at careful development that pivots on a horizontal orientation for this house ‒ a recurrent theme explored by architect Marcio Kogan in his work. The single-storey Casa Plana illustrates this well. The layout is in fact extremely linear, with an elongated rectangular floor plan extending along a north-south axis. The interior spaces branch off a long central corridor that divides these into two function-related blocks. The first is the night zone, to the west and looking out over a nearby lake. Here the bedrooms unfurl in sequence: four modular examples plus a larger master bedroom, each with its own bathroom. A mechanical room is included, also serving the double-level swimming pool in this area. Instead, to the east is the block with a laundry room, a gym, a storage area, and two staff bedrooms plus a shared living room between these.
The roof features as a continuous and pale expanse, edged by the unrendered border of its concrete slab, which is striking as an essential element of the architectural composition. >>> Continue reading in Number 117 of The Plan
NICE HEADQUARTERS || Sun, wind and light in a single project
Mario Cucinella Architects
Brazilian sun, wind and light shaped the idea underpinning the 4.0 industry design by Mario Cucinella for the new São Paulo headquarters to Nice ‒ a company specialised in smart solutions for home and building automation and security. The MCA studio in fact adopted a holistic and sustainability-oriented approach to mould an edifice with a striking roof shaped like a tropical leaf: it was inspired by a leaf gently hovering above surrounding vegetation, amidst which stand the pillars supporting the roof.
Located in the Campinas industrial district, in Limeira, north-west of São Paulo, the complex draws on its strategic proximity to a natural water source and a small wooded area. By respecting the climatic and cultural context, the design fully preserves the harmony between indoors and out. According to the works schedule, this cutting-edge eco-sustainable complex developing almost 20,000 m2 of floor space will be completed by June 2022.
The edifice's distinctive element is its roof, which successfully creates a shaded area for the offices, showroom and factory beneath. This aspect is particularly important in relation to the latitude of the district: the site is very near the Equator, making it subject to high solar elevation angles. To provide additional shading and protection for the glass façades during the middle of the day, the roof also extends outwards horizontally, resulting in a 47% reduction in annual incident radiation, while also avoiding the risk of overheating.
These factors all reflect a design that constantly interacts with its surrounding landscape; a design capable of reinterpreting elements of traditional Brazilian architecture and of encouraging users to re-establish a harmonious relationship between built spaces and untouched nature. >>> Finish reading here and browse the complete project gallery
HERITAGE AND CYRELA || 32 storeys of luxury looking out over Sãu Paulo
The architect's pencil darts across the drawing sheet, sketching out an aerodynamic shape snatched from the automotive world. This is how life started for the Heritage and Cyrela residential skyscrapers, designed by Pininfarina for Sãu Paulo. Located in the exclusive Itaim Bibi neighbourhood, the Heritage tower stands 32 storeys tall and features a futuristic style "inspired by speedforms", the designers explained.
The façade make-up is traced out by the unique curved lines of the spacious balconies. Building these shells was complex and involved developing a 3D scan of the edifice's digital rendering; this scan was then printed as a carbon mould for the fibreglass façade components. The tower houses 31 luxury apartments, each occupying a complete level of the building, with floor space ranging between 570 and 700 m2. Each accommodation unit has large balconies with views of the city, plus six to eight parking spaces. Besides the garages, the residential complex offers several amenities and these include indoor and outdoor pools, one of which is a fun-size kids' pool, a children's play area, a tennis court, a bar, a dancehall with terrace, a gym and a spa.
Concealed by the skyscraper façades, the interiors were also created by local designers and feature a blend of tasteful aesthetics and state-of-the-art technology, also thanks to the furnishings designed by Pininfarina: stylish and contemporary, these offer up constant references to the automotive realm.