São Paulo based Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos are no strangers to apartment renovations having recently completed a project for one of the most iconic residential building in their city. For this residence, which is located in an early 1960s apartment building in São Paulo, they have updated its mid-century modernism to reflect both an aesthetic of contemporary elegance and its owners’ personality.
Upon entering the apartment, you are greeted by a small, idiosyncratic vestibule of peeling paint, exposed brick walls and quirky artwork by street artists such as BLU and Interesni Kazki that elicits a bohemian, urban vibe, serving as a transitional space between the chaotic streets of Sao Paulo and the refined modernism of the rest of the interiors.
The apartment’s core is the open-plan living room with serves as lounge, TV room, dining area and kitchen, a layout that required several walls to be torn down. In order to delineate the kitchen area from the rest of the space without sacrificing its openness, the architects have used colour and texture, cutting off the parquet flooring, and replacing it with small hexagonal white tiles that extend to the walls and ceiling enveloping the kitchen’s notional volume. The all white cupboards and appliances amplify the visual separation even more.
Taking over one side of the living room, a bespoke bookcase of minimal design showcases the owners’ literary and artistic acquisitions. Made out of very thin metal sheets and painted white, the shelves stretch along the length of the wall only to be interrupted by the door and two wooden niches shaped like Armenian church windows as portrayed in Soviet director Sergei Parajanov’s Armenia-based film "The Colour of the Pomegranate", an allusion to the owners’ heritage.
On the other side of the space, the architects have designed a slim console of interlocking volumes of marble and wood with a smaller version hanging below the ceiling. The console’s design, pure mid-century modernism, reflects the prevailing aesthetic of the furniture selection for this room. With a clear preference for mid-century Scandinavian designers, the designers’ picks include Hans Wegner’s Papa Bear Chairs in grey, Bruno Mathsson’s Pernilla Chair in white, Frederik Kayser’s Rocking Chair and Peter Hvidt’s Minerva Coffee Table. Complemented by a cloud inspired padded sofa designed by the architects in collaboration with ETEL Interiores, and artworks from Brazilian artists and Japanese photographers, the living space eclectically merges the nostalgic and the contemporary.
The minimal and eclecticism sensibility of the living room extends to the bedroom’s interior design that features a distinct padded leather headboard, suspended bedside lamps, and two stone slabs on metallic supports that the architects designed as night stands, exemplifying their unique design perspective.