The objective behind this project was to create a home for a bohemian couple. The challenge was to create a space comfortable enough for two people to live within the available space, but also big enough to host house parties.
The context of this building is a typical 115th Superquadra of the North Wing in Brasilia, Brazil. Like any of its kind the abundant greenery is present in the windows facing the social areas of the apartment. The plan of the apartment had suffered modifications, where the only windows in the social area were pushed outwards, eliminating the original balcony and making the internal spaces extremely deep and lacking of proper lighting and ventilation. The apartment was originally a three-bedroom flat, and given the flexibility in the brief, we proposed eliminating the third room since it would change drastically the quality of their living areas.
We began by bringing back the balcony and transforming the former room into the dining area, which is visually connected to the kitchen by a wooden panel—the panel crosses the living area, secludes the private programme and integrates the entire social area, hence the choice of an open kitchen. We had clearly understood that the flexibility of a growing and shrinking space was a design problem, so we designed a sliding shelf that would encapsulate a bench, which would only be revealed in a social setting, once the shelf was pushed towards the wall for a larger living room.
Conceptually, the materiality of this project was a key element in its design. The marble and wood in the dining area were purposely replicated in the kitchen, giving the apartment space the desired unity and informality. The tile is extremely present in the history of the Brazilian capital and Brazilian modernism. where artists such as Athos Bulcão and Candido Portinari have inspired a generation of younger artists to create bespoke tiles and artistic panels. Thus, we invited local artist João Henrique into the project to elaborate panels for the dining and kitchen, in opposite ends of the flat, reflecting the light and shadows from the trees of the Superquadra.
Photography: Haruo Mikami