In architecture, clean cut simplistic detailing in combination with glazed large openings and a vintage feel can excite you in a way that indeed only architecture can. Arthur Casas is the talented Brazilian architect that stands firmly behind this concept and elevates us through the great world of joinings, slit cut openings and clarity. Yes, this architect offers our ideal world of Brazil on a glazed platter.
One of Arthur Casas’ successful projects - encompassing everything that has been described of his work - is the breathtaking 700sqm penthouse located in Urca, the most wealthy residential neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Situated between the sea and the famous Sugarloaf Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar), this area, which was closed by the military fortress, can only be described as the jewel of sites. Preserved for tourism, this site is virgin territory in terms of the authenticity of the grounds. The site plans & facades have been completely redesigned removing the maximum possible percentage of wall area and replacing it with transparent surfaces wherever possible. And the outcome is breathtaking. As guests walk through the entrance on the penthouse’s second level through a sliding door, inside, they suddenly look across and freeze with amazement at the overwhelming beauty ahead. Taking over two floors of this seafront view 70’s building we can objectively say that there is none other like it in Brazil.
Inside, the design language is clean cut, symmetrical and reminiscent. Against a backdrop primarily consisting of glazing and off white finishes, the presence of wood, introduces an element of nostalgia. Used in fixed furniture pieces such as the library bookshelves, exterior seating and the bathroom vanity tops, its long straight lines have a feeling of endlessness. From the total pure living room looking out onto the terrace with the wooden planter and the small palm trees, it hints at the reminiscent world of the girl from Ipanema combined with modernity and clarity. The interiors have been designed to be flexible and cater for all activities be they private or socially inclined. Mobile boundary areas are introduced through large hidden retractable partitions, which can reformat these open spaces into small private areas in an instant.
The vintage character is present throughout the penthouse through many formats. Great furniture pieces stand freely so that they can be appreciated and acknowledged; finishes, structural symmetry and plantations all hint at the nostalgic world of Brazil. The architect has amended a new floor consisting of a bedroom looking out on Pão de Açúcar and a terrace with truly stunning views over Guanabara Bay. Suffice it to say that this new introduction has given a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘a room with a view’. Of course in the architectural world of the ideal, looking at these views and thinking of today’s girl from Ipanema, one imagines her swimming along a rectangular rooftop pool in a white one piece, a perfectly frosted Mojito complete with fresh mint leaves waiting for her on the side table for when she gets out.
Arthur Casas has brought us to the ideal, so follow the glazed staircase to the rooftop and enjoy it.