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São Paulo-based architect Fernanda Marques is one of the most versatile, comprehensive and innovative designers of our time. Her unique style in architecture provokes sensations. As Le Corbusier writes: 'a series of sensations is like melody in music.. The melody is the idea, harmony is the means, the tool, the presentation of the idea.'
What is the parti in the project?
Escaping the obvious, presenting innovating solutions and making full use of technology.
How are the spaces laid out and articulated?
On the lower floor the emphasis was placed on enhancing the living areas so as to provide full integration between the areas. The gourmet kitchen was opened onto the dining-room, the staircase and the lift shaft casing were built of clear glass, to integrate the living area and the home-theatre and the outside area, where a bold swimming pool, made also of clear glass, can be seen. The idea was to provide the terrace view with as much transparency as possible.
On the upper floor we have the master suite and the others, plus a family home-theatre and a gym, fitted with super modern equipment. The master suite was privileged in its location, to ensure a view of the pool. The master bathroom was enlarged too, and became a spa-like room, also overlooking the pool.
Some points on lighting, daylighting and ventilation. For the outside terrace, we proposed a glazed metallic-frame roof automated system, so as to make the most of natural daylight. Even when closed, it allows the rooms to be awash with light. The lighting project was well thought-out, with lit curtain recesses, lights built into the plaster ceiling and, in the gym, a tensoflex stretch ceiling system, to provide even and well well-distributed light. All these work on dimmers, and have pre-programmed automated lighting scenes.
What were the drivers behind the choice of furnishings?
Every piece was to be unique and yet fit in with the whole. In line with the project we chose large pieces, in proportion with the size of the spaces, with straight lines, extremely contemporary and technological. We chose especially Italian designs. Leather, velvet metal and glass prevail in the rooms. Pieces acquired in auctions in New York stand out, such as the Campana Brothers’ chair and the curvy stainless steel sofa by Ron Arad.
Were there any particular challenges in the project?
There were several. The swimming-pool is a glass box, and numerous structural studies were required for the superimposed structure, the load on the deck had to be redistributed given the weight created by the glass + the water.
The organic-shape external staircase that links the terrace to the master suite was also given special attention. Up to the step we managed to place on top of the other it was made from cellular concrete. From then on, when the rise changes direction, a sloping slab was made and the steps were moulded from underneath, in line with the same design as the first steps.
The clear glass lift shaft casing and the steps were another challenge, as the result was meant to be light and clean. The staircase reaches the upper floor by a clear glass walkway, supported by steel-framing, clad in stainless steel.
In the lower-floor home-theatre we went all out with the technology, placing a touchscreen video along a 6m-long wall, super high-tech!
What was the goal behind the choice of finishing materials?
We chose Persiano limestone for the floor in the whole living-area, including the terrace, as it makes the spaces very bright. The stainless steel and glass are widely present, on the staircase, lift, bridge, railing, doors, etc. Wood is also present on the upstairs floor and in details, to make the spaces warm and welcoming. The composition turned out both sophisticated and light.
What appeals to you the most in this project?
I am very fond of the project as a whole, for the bold solutions, creative and well thought-out details… Everything about it pleases me very much. It is really wonderful when the client puts his trust on your work and allows you to go ahead with the initially submitted design. Had there been no such Exchange, none of this would have come to life.
See more projects by Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados on OpenBuildings.