When a couple approached São Paulo–based Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados to redesign their duplex apartment, they were seeking a design versatile and minimalist enough to accommodate their ever-growing art collection and have it harmoniously blend into the interior concept.
"The owner works in the financial market and is a keen art collector," explains Fernanda Marques, the founder of the firm. "He owns works by artists I greatly admire, such as Ernesto Neto, Edgard de Souza, Manoel Rio Branco, Zerbini, and Tunga. These works speak directly to the issue of space, hence the importance of their placement in the project."
One of the most striking features in the 5,135-square-feet home is the glass-walled swimming pool. Sited in the exterior garden, it goes across the front and center of the living room to create an aquarium-like wall.
The interior section above the pool is fitted with two expansive glass walls that frame the surrounding greenery.
For Marques, building the pool structure was the most challenging part of the renovation project. To achieve the result she desired, she used a very thick, imported glass, which required the help of specialists to install.
"Looking back, I think it was well worth it. Neither the owners nor I can imagine the apartment without the pool. To a certain extent, I think the pool provided the home with another work of art," she says.
Marques has also designed the lighting in order to enhance the artworks within the apartment. In a gallery space on the lower level, she has placed a single track-lighting rail above the paintings and sculptures to ensure they are lit in just the right way.
"I didn’t want the furniture to overwhelm the works of art, but rather to serve as support and counterpoint to them," she explains.