Brazilian modern: Richard Meier & Partners completes first project in South America
Revered for his clean, modernist style and a stunning portfolio of residential and commercial properties, Richard Meier is one of the world's most celebrated architects – and he has just revealed his latest offering. Not only the architect's first office project in Brazil, the Leblon Offices in Rio de Janeiro are also his first completed design in South America.
The project – led by associate partner Bernhard Karpf from Meier’s New York office – is, with its crisp aesthetic, a significant addition to Rio de Janeiro's diverse architectural backdrop. ‘The most interesting part of the process was discovering how our architectural ideas and strategies needed to respect and create dialogue with its context,’ explains Karpf.
Hosting the new international headquarters of Vinci Partners, one of Brazil’s leading alternative investment and asset management firms, the Leblon building comprises a series of private interior courtyards, open office spaces and a collection of terraces, spread over ten floors – three of which are subterranean. Meier and his team’s main aim was to connect the project to its context and Brazil’s architectural legacy of open, indoor/outdoor living.
‘The completion of the Leblon Offices is very special for our firm, as it represents our first completed building in South America and Latin America,’ says Meier. ‘Brazil’s architecture is very distinct from Latin America as a whole and diverse in itself – we are extremely honoured to complete a project within a country that has such a rich architectural heritage.’
A generous and bright lobby greets guests, appropriately welcoming them to the 74,270 sq ft space, featuring an abundance of glass, concrete and numerous vertical gardens. The building's eastern wing was slightly removed from its neighbours, allowing space for the several internal courtyards dotting the site and supplying light to all office areas. The impressive design was also led by specific sustainability and flexibility requirements, making this a truly efficient office space.