Fernando Rihl set up Procter Rihl with Chris Procter while he was studying at the Architectural Association in 1995. ‘It wasn’t planned. It was pure intuition. Very Brazilian.’ Their Slice House in Sao Paolo has won innumerable prizes and represented Brazil in the Latin American Biennale in 2004. They are currently designing a house in San Diego for artist Anya Gallaccio and a collection of objects for Alle Design, a Brazilian company specializing in acrylic.
Do you think there are many opportunities in Brazil if you are an architect?
Yes and no. Brazil has innumerable opportunities and a culture that naturally accepts supermodernity. We have a history of designing good buildings and you can find fantastic clients with a vision, but architecture is sometimes perceived purely as a service and not a collaboration between architect and client.
What things do you miss most about Brazil?
The southern humour is quite unique. It is very acute and sarcastic and involves taking the Mickey out of yourself and those around you. It’s dark humour to the extreme.
What Brazilian things do you do here in London?
I keep close contact with my Brazilian network. Chatting is a Brazilian sport, on an Olympic scale.
Do you think London is tapped in to the Brazilian way of life in any way?
Not at all. Quite the opposite. Brazilians enjoy group interaction while the Brits tend to explore solitude. Aesthetically, the Brits tend to look for the quirky and the odd while Brazilians are into elegance.
What would a perfect night out in Brazil involve?
Eating at an outdoor restaurant with loads of friends. We would meet late, people would come and go and we would pile into a night club. The drinks would be stylized and people would be way louder than they are here. Intoxicating euphoria. Getting home early morning would be the norm. With close friends, the perfect night would mean sitting on the pink granite rocks at Ganchos Beach in Santa Catarina and staying up until sunrise.