ISSUE 23  |  Summer Color

Modernism in São Paulo: Marcio Kogan’s Chimney House

June 05, 2012 8:30 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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Marcio Kogan’s Chimney House in the sprawling city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is an example of architecture with an uncompromising modernist conception of space and attention to detail. The lesson learned: simple beauty exists in purity.

With his careful choice of materials and discerning articulation of textures, Kogan (he's the founder of Studio MK27, one of Brazil’s leading architecture firms) created a home with multiple readings of what can be construed as inside or outside; changing continuously in response to Sao Paulo’s notoriously unreliable weather. It's a modernist take on contextualism.

Photography by Reinaldo Coser and Gabriel Arantes via ArchDaily.

Above: There is a strong emphasis on horizontality throughout the house: note the window opening, the coursing of the narrow wooden formed concrete, and the planks of the wood decking.

Above: The lush greenery of Sao Paulo's humid subtropical climate is encouraged to grow on the building and become part of the architectural landscape.

Above: Full-height sliding glass doors, which run the length of the living/dining area, create a dissolving distinction between inside and outside. The entire ceiling plane is made of one material; narrow wooden formed concrete.

Above: When both sets of doors are open; the space flows seamlessly between the interior and exterior (it's difficult to tell if you are inside or outside).

Above: The low ceiling of the living room creates a sense of intimacy as it contrasts with the limitless height of the sky outside.

Above: Kogan's previous career as a film director is evident in the dramatic nighttime lighting.

Above: The wood deck is reflected in the narrow wood-formed concrete ceiling.

Above: A wooden deck with trees extends out seamlessly from the living/dining area.

Above: The lights of Sao Paulo's office buildings shine beyond.

Above: The entry to Chimney House is a study in shifting planes and textures.