Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan plays with space in a way that makes you think that if he ever gets bored, a second career as a movie set designer awaits.
Based in São Paulo, Kogan’s 20-strong firm continues to be busy with projects in every corner of Brazil. Of his four most recent offerings, three (the Corten House, Panama House and C16H14O3 House) are located in São Paulo while the fourth (the Osler House) is in Brasilia. (Photos of Corten House and C16H14O3 House are featured in our gallery, above.
Through all four projects, the box form – Kogan’s favourite motif – occurs time and again but in carefully nuanced combinations: precisely planed concrete boxes within boxes (a function of security concerns in São Paulo); stoned lined boxes on top of boxes; and timber slatted boxes that open outwards towards a slim-lined lap pool perhaps with no doors to mark inside or outside.
But there is, as our gallery shows, nothing hemmed in about these houses. Instead, the elegant economy to Kogan’s use of volumes translates to a very real sense of freedom. The result is airy, light-washed spaces that seem barely tethered to the ground, an apt escapist image perhaps for São Paulo’s congested megapolis.
We caught up with Kogan recently for a quick chat about life and architecture in his favourite city.
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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).
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