Paulo Mendes Da Rocha public furniture by Ovo

Paulo Mendes Da Rocha furniture – originally designed with MMBB for São Paulo’s SESC 24 de Maio cultural centre – is now part of a collection of seating by Ovo

Two lounge chairs by Paulo Mendes Da Rocha in blue and green powder coated aluminium, photographed from above in a tropical garden
(Image credit: Ruy Teixeira)

The late Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes Da Rocha designed São Paulo's SESC 24 de Maio cultural centre in 2017, in collaboration with local architecture and urbanism practice MMBB, led by Marta Moreira and Milton Braga. Immersed in the city's urban fabric, the 14-storey project features a glass façade concealing a theatre, a library, a rooftop pool, gallery spaces and more. Paulo Mendes Da Rocha furniture features throughout, including seating defined by a pair of metal sheets bent to become chairs, lounge seats and benches. 

Brazilian furniture brand Ovo is now launching the series as a furniture collection for residential and public use, featuring a distinctive colour palette and the same design principles conceived by Mendes Da Rocha with Moreira and Braga.

Paulo Mendes Da Rocha furniture by Ovo

A series of chairs whose seat and back are made by a continuous, folded metal sheet, in pink, grey, white, green and blue

(Image credit: Ruy Teixeira)

The design brings to mind Mendes Da Rocha’s ‘Chaise longue moderna PMR’ from 1985, a seat, the architect explained, inspired by a visit to a spring factory in São Paulo in the 1980s. He recalls seeing ‘25cm-wide steel coils as thin as a paper sheet. I immediately thought of the idea of a human body stretched out on this thin flexible sheet like floating over the ground.’ 

Ovo’s collection of furniture follows the same principle, celebrating what the architect called ‘the virtues of metal’ and developed from the 1980s design into a family of flexible and multifunctional seats. Included are a dining chair, low and high armchairs, a bench (with tête-à-tête option) and a side table, and each piece of seating is formed from two bent carbon steel shapes, to optimise production and maintenance. 

Small bistrot table with two blue dining chairs

(Image credit: Ruy Teixeira)

The collection was developed by Ovo founders, designers Luciana Martins and Gerson de Oliveira, and it forms part of the company's new Ovo Public series, featuring multifunctional metal furniture for indoor and outdoor use, imagined for public spaces.

A bench with folded metal sheets constituting the seat, in grey, pink, black and blue

(Image credit: Ruy Teixeira)

Seen from the side, low chairs made of slim metal sheets in pink, grey and blue

(Image credit: Ruy Teixeira)


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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