Architects: Memola Estúdio, Victor Penha
Area: 160 m²
Photography: Denilson Machado – MCA Estúdio
Project Team: Veronica Molina, Bianca Sinisgalli, Juliana Bello, Vitor Penha
Engineering: HRO Engenharia
City: São Paulo
Translated by: Architecture Sight
Source: Archdaily Brazil
Description sent by the project team: This renovation has both functionally and visually transformed the apartment situated in the iconic Saint Honoré residential building in São Paulo. The concept aimed to create a timeless atmosphere inspired by industrial lofts, incorporating rustic materials like concrete and exposed brick. These elements were revealed through the complete removal of stucco and the exposure of masonry, which now coexist harmoniously with the warmth of new wooden surfaces, contemporary-designed furniture, and handcrafted objects. Together, they add a delicate touch to the overall ambiance. One of the objectives was to establish a versatile backdrop suitable for the display of both neutral and expressive works of art.
The masonry demolitions were concentrated in the wet area – kitchen, laundry, and bathroom – with the layout change completely reconfiguring the first two to enhance flows and integrate the kitchen with the social area. The rearrangement of space allowed for the addition of a new guest bathroom side by side with the ensuite bathroom. The entire floor in this part of the apartment was replaced, with rustic-looking ceramic flooring in an earthy tone installed in the laundry and kitchen area, adjacent to the entrance.
Large sections of masonry were demolished in the intimate corridor and between the kitchen and the living room, replaced by new half-height movable wooden and glass frames that allow for varying degrees of integration, partial separation, and isolation of spaces. With their vertical division of panels, these frames bring rhythm and unity to the apparent randomness of exposed brick and concrete, which have a significant presence in the space. At the top, they are delineated by the exposed concrete beams, and below, by strips of wooden parquet that mark the removal of walls with their contrasting tone compared to the beautiful overall fish-scale patterned apartment floor.
The industrial theme that is part of the project’s concept is evident both in the exposed installations, with a particular focus on the precise arrangement of pipelines throughout the entire apartment, and in the stainless steel elements that shape the kitchen countertops and furniture, as well as the metal furniture in the office, which now occupies one of the three bedrooms. The guest bedroom had its cabinets redesigned to create an additional niche facing the corridor and another one integrated into the ensuite. The surface covering of its headboard wall was completely removed, revealing the exposed brick. In the ensuite, an acoustic covering was incorporated into the headboard wall.
In the ensuite bathroom, the neutral backdrop of ceramic tiles is balanced by the exposed wood of the vanity cabinet and the intricate design of the individually styled vintage mirrors. On the other hand, the guest bathroom presents a dramatic aesthetic, achieved through the dark and varied tone of the floor and wall tiles, along with the use of mirror cladding on the panels of the sink’s background wall – a concrete countertop – and on the frame extending from it.