Modern in Sao Paulo

When you look at it as it currently is, it could be an ideal home. It did not seem that way at first, however.

Juan Pablo Rosenberg was born in Buenos Aires in 1976 and arrives in Sao Paulo in six years. Since then he lives in the area of Higienópolis, the epicenter of modernism: between the building Prudencia Rino Levi (1944) and signed Louveira Vilanova Artigas (1946), teachers of the school that trained the brutalist Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Rosenberg looks around and sees nothing but that the buildings of prized architect Artacho Jurado. First reviled and then risen icon of eclecticism and ornamentation. Pizzi concrete slabs, carvings, stucco.

Yes, I admit that Higienópolis prompted me to study architecture, it was a nice boost. As a teenager I watched these buildings and I imagined it would be like to live inside a dream. In particular, Cinderela, of Jurado, pure fifties,

– says Rosenberg. So he bought his own home in that building. After graduating in architecture, and flying between Milan and Vera Cruz, Mexico, Pablo returns to Sao Paulo and starts his search.

The Cinderela building was selling the caretaker’s apartment. Seventy square meters on the ground floor, divided into a living room, a pair of small bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen, with only two windows.

The apartment was dark and badly divided. Thick walls, high ceilings and only 2 meters and 80 headroom

says Pablo. There is a but, though. During the inspection, Rosenberg looks up from the front door that opens onto the lobby of the building and notices a difference in heights: it’s four meters. “I thought that since both spaces are on the ground floor there is something hidden. At that moment I knew I had to buy this flat and radical remodel it. ”
It took two months to demolish all the partition walls, ceilings and structures.

He threw out 90 cubic meters of solid brick and stucco. The only original structures that remained are the water and gas pipes left visible, and the two support columns. Out of this, Pablo has created an open space of 70 square meters, 5 meters wide and 4 meters high. He gave the loft plenty of natural light and ventilation. Enlarged the kitchen window to become wall of glass and a skylight over the inner courtyard of the building.

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One toilet room was demolished. For the rest, as simple as it gets: living and sleeping areas are divides with white fabric (‘practically it is always open’). White fabric is also used for the shower set inside a tub placed in the middle of the bedroom. The bed is also mobile with a cast iron frame with wheels of a trolley attached. Pablo moves it every time he receives friends at home and it becomes a huge sofa.

The wooden ladder left in the loft after the renovations changed roles as become hanger. Other eclectic pieces of furniture from the seventies – purple armchairs by Cassina and the Eames Lounge Chair, the anonymous black leather sofa, the table in black and white painted glass from Brazilian designer Jacqueline Terpins – and a door was saved from demolition.

That the contemporary style of the home is evident, however it keeps the original style and charm of the building intact as well.


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