The man behind the library -as we would describe him – Felipe Hess, has given us the opportunity to look inside his personally designed apartment in the most exclusive area of São Paulo. This architect may be only 27 years old but looking through his memorabilia and sense of lifestyle, you get the distinct feeling that you are amongst one of the great and old lovers of architecture and knowledge - Hess himself would also include music lover in this description.
The apartment is located in a charming 50’s building where its original character has been carefully preserved. The original parquet floor was given a more rustic finish and the original brick walls were exposed to their primary original finish and repainted white retaining their texture and their timeless irregularities. This presence of timelessness is interpreted throughout the interior by the chosen materials and vintage - mostly Brazilian - furniture. Of course the signature piece is the freijo wooden bookshelf in the living room, which designed by Felipe Hess, we have associated him with. Through this piece, we have found out a lot about the life of this architect and as he says himself - what one has on a bookshelf is who someone is. And this signifies a life that has been inspired by the greats like Isay Weinfeld, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Niemeyer, Paulo Mendes de Rocha, The Beatles and many more legends. As for the decorative objects symbology... symbology, symbology. For example, an Athos Bulcão tile (he has created most of the Brazilian mosaics in Niemeyer’s masterpieces), an old Coca Cola box, an Aston Martin DB5, music memorabilia and a replica of John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce. This bookcase is a tribute to the youth of knowledge.
The essence of bespoke nostalgia lies mostly amongst the unique furniture pieces. In the living room, against the exposed cement wall, sits a beautiful Zanine chair covered with white and blue striped fabric together with an original Danish table from the 60's, counterbalancing fragility and roughness; a mixture well known by the great Frank Lloyd Wright. Of course what brings tears of joy to our eyes which is also the owner’s pride possession is the Jean Gillon Jangada chair. A design piece like NO other which joins the numerous other original pieces throughout this residence. One of our favorites, and once again, nostalgic pieces is the framed sketch collection behind his great office designed by the talented Jorge Zalszupin. These are the creations from architects that the owner admires and has requested to be drawn for himself. A very romantic idea which has been brought to life by creators such as Oscar Niemeyer, Isay Weinfeld, Marcio Kogan, Tom Dixon, John Pawson and Sergio Rodrigues.
Another great feature is the unity of space between the living and dining spaces, office and kitchen. There is a strong connection between these areas, allowing for the dramatic exposed cement division to bring some raw structure into so much historical fragility. In the kitchen the rectangular mosaic tiles are a 50’s feature we enjoy greatly and the view of them through the picture frame opening is definitely exciting.
In the private quarters, everything is simplistic, calm and pure. The floating headboard bed and bedside tables designed by Felipe Hess give out a sense of great lightness also interpreted by the John Pawson posters on the walls from his ‘Plain Space’ exhibition. The master bathroom is a mixture between English luxury and 50’s vintage. The lavatory was salvaged by the architect from a residence he was renovating while the playful mirror was found in a flea market in Buenos Aires.
All in all, this residence is a marriage between two great loves. The unconditional love of everything that is vintage and unique and the love affair with great detailing. Both great loves come from one source: Felipe Hess.