Building foundations with Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry
Even seasoned travellers welcome the insight of the right sort of local, a gently guiding hand in new territories or a fresh take on the familiar. With this in mind, Wallpaper* in collaboration with Tudor watches has produced a series of Style Files; country-specific, cliché-dodging dossiers and in-the-field notes for the contemporary explorer who really knows where they are going.
Architect Juan Pablo Rosenberg extols the virtues of São Paulo’s density.
São Paulo, the world’s seventh biggest city, is a tightly packed metropolis, home to more than 18 million people. Space is at a premium and concepts for practical living that ingeniously optimise valuable square footage are fundamental to quality of life. No wonder, then, that São Paulo-based architect Juan Pablo Rosenberg is celebrated for his small but perfectly formed projects – a super-compact cube house, an inventive converted loft, and an apartment block built on a small plot that still manages to appear light and spacious and provide balconies for most of its residents.
Seeking relief from the inevitable urban suffocation that comes from living in a big city, Rosenberg is also a champion of São Paulo’s public spaces, particularly the Paulista Avenue area where he both works and lives (with fellow architect Marina Acayaba and their newborn son). ‘Paulista Avenue is the highest point in the city,’ he says. ‘It’s the cultural and financial heart of São Paulo, where all tribes and types co-exist 24/7. Here you have the biggest concentration of helicopters and cinemas in the city, as well as the only fragment of native rainforest still preserved in the city.’
Just like the sprawling city he lives in, Rosenberg’s career has been diverse and cosmopolitan. He studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, and has worked in Italy and Mexico. Back in his home town, during his downtime the architect likes to indulge in a cold beer, or coffee and cake, at one of the city’s many hip bars and cafés, seek out the best croque monsieur, sushi and pão de queijo (cheese bread), or hang out at an edgy arthouse cinema that shows some of the best world movies.