Designed by key representative of Brazilian modernism architect Vilanova Artigas with Carlos Cascaldi and built in 1946, the Louveira building in Sao Paulo's Higienopolis district is one of the city's residential icons.
Located in the heart of Higienopolis on Vilaboim Square, the building was designed by Artigas in a way that cleverly unites private and public space. 'It effortlessly brings the town square into the complex. The building is separated into two blocks, in the middle of which there is this amazing square with a ramp that leads to the ground floor,' explains architect Marina Acayaba of AR.q architects.
Due to the building's high profile design credentials, young architecture practice AR.q were thrilled to be invited to redesign the interior of one of the apartments. The flat belongs to a couple of art professionals and their young family and is located on the building's first floor, overlooking the entrance.
Rethinking the interior the architects opened up one of the bedrooms and altogether removed one of the bathrooms to make way for a more comfortable living room. They in turn transformed the service room into a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom. The added element that brings the design together is a white floor-to-ceiling bookshelf complex that characteristically runs through the whole flat, making its appearance in different parts of the house. The bookshelves also assume different functions depending on the location; in the kitchen they act as cabinets, in the living room they form a bar and in the bathroom a built-in sink.
The flat includes two bedrooms, a separate glass-enclosed study room, and an open plan living and dining area. A Thomas Demand wallpaper features at the entrance hall, the window frames were restored to their original yellow colour, while the existing wood parquet flooring distinguishes the flat's main rooms, from the concrete-floor wet areas.
Redesigned to fit the needs of 21st century living, but retaining its unique modernist character, the flat also houses the owners' collection of Brazilian art, as well as furniture picked out by them in consultation with the architects.