Fernanda Marques slots a swimming pool into a Brazilian apartment

Architecture in Brazil
Brazilian architect Fernanda Marques’ latest residential projects include this complete renovation of a Sao Paulo apartment
(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

As unlikely as it sounds, Brazilian architect Fernanda Marques has installed a swimming pool in the courtyard of a duplex apartment in São Paulo’s upscale residential neighbourhood of Villa Nova Conceição. The pool may be just one element of her design for the 477 sq m ground and lower ground floor flat in a 1990s block; but it’s a crucial one.

The 10m-long pool takes up 25 sq m of the outside area and is accessed via the stairway in the exterior garden or from the gym on the upper floor. All that water is kept at bay by an 8cm-thick sandwich of glass panels bonded by a high technology structural membrane.

The pool overlooks the living room, which houses some of the owners’ mostly Brazilian art collection. Pieces by Ernesto Neto, Edgard de Souza, Manoel Rio Branco, Zerbini and Tunga are complemented by Marques’ choice of furniture, much of by Brazil’s late, great modernist heroes. The dining table and chairs are by Joaquim Tenreiro; a pair of Jangada armchairs by Jean Gillon – who was originally from Romania – stand near the artworks on the ground floor; and there’s an armchair in the master bedroom by Zanine de Caldas, who had worked with Oscar Niemeyer. Meanwhile the wooden bench on the terrace is by Hugo França, who is still living. Marques’ aim was to keep the interiors relatively simple, to leave room for the collection to be added to.

Despite the artworks, it is the aquamarine water that draws the eye. Marques, whose mostly female team is headquartered in São Paulo, has a track record in magicking luxuriant interiors for residences in her home country, Miami and increasingly Lisbon. She says of the pool: ‘It was intended to be more than a leisure experience, but a poetic presence inside an art collector’s home.’

Interiors at residentials in Brazil

A key element in the redesign was the placing of a swimming pool in the middle of the courtyard 

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Staircase at a Brazilian residential

The project occupies 477 sq m of the ground and lower-ground floor in a 1990s block in the upscale residential neighbourhood of Villa Nova Conceição

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Interiors at Brazil architecture

Strong, 8cm thick glass panels keep the water at bay 

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Sofa and chairs at the interiors

The pool overlooks the living room, which houses some of the owners’ mostly Brazilian art collection

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Dining at a hotel

Marques aimed to keep the interiors relatively simple, to leave room for the owners' art collection to grow

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Laptop desk and living room

The generous interior allows for the open plan living spaces and berooms, but also for a private study and library room

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Wall paintings in living room

The elegant interior is lit up by large openings that bring the sunshine in

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)

Swimming pool with side bedroom

In most parts of the house, the eye is drawn to the pool, which is the residence's centrepiece; even the bedroom overlooks it

(Image credit: fernandamarques.com.br)


For more information, visit the Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados