When Brazilian architect and designer
Felipe Hess renovated a 4,800-square-foot apartment for a young art collector, he let the client’s antique Brazilian furniture and artwork dictate the space. The apartment, located on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil, was originally sectioned off into a series of small rooms. Hess converted it into just two rooms: a living area encompassing a kitchen and dining room and a 1,100-square-foot bedroom. “The idea was to make the architecture disappear by creating a neat and clean backdrop to house the vast art collection, which is in constant transformation,” says Hess. Here’s a look at the renovation.
Photography by Ruy Teixeira, courtesy of
Felipe Hess. Above: Hess used groupings of the client’s furniture to create multiple seating areas and dining rooms. Here, a collection of silver wine goblets on a glass coffee table is surrounded by vintage chairs, including a Jean Gillon Jaganda Chair from Brazil at left. Above: A wide view of the open living room space. Note how Hess grouped a collection of sculptural chairs around a coffee table and used an area rug to anchor the seating area. Above: An antique woven rattan-backed bench faces a grouping of chairs. On the far left is a pine chair designed by architect Lina Bo Bardi in the 1950s and on the far right is a midcentury slatted X-base folding chair. Above: “A monolithic floor runs throughout the apartment, reinforcing the continuity of the spaces. Loose blocks of granite help to overcome the existing gaps,” Hess explains. Above: “The white walls were redesigned to avoid corners, thus creating great exhibition planes,” says Hess. Above: An antique chair at the entrance to an otherwise modern guest bathroom. Above: The main space is divided into levels—two steps lead up to the dining room and kitchen, and two steps lead down to the living space. Above: A view from the elevated dining room into the kitchen on the same level. Above: A modern kitchen with a concrete waterfall kitchen island and minimalist white cabinets. Above: The single bedroom measures 1,100 square feet. To break up the space, the designers created discrete seating areas. Above: Hess created a single long floating shelf above the bed, using the same concrete as on the kitchen countertops. It’s a place where small objects, sculpture, and framed art is displayed. Above: An area of the bedroom, grand piano included. Above: A floating concrete counter with a circular, wood-framed mirror in the bathroom off the primary bedroom. Above: The overall composition.
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