Destination of the Week: São Paulo
A few years ago, we solicited suggestions from our readers for the city's must-visit architectural landmarks, restaurants, parks and more. They responded with everything from a public park atop a skyscraper with jaw-dropping views to a 1950's flying saucer building by Oscar Niemeyer. Check out our map of São Paulo's design scene, and add your suggestions!
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Where to stay while you're in São Paulo? We vote for the relatively new Hotel Fasano Boa Vista. The man behind the hotel’s strong structure and bold design is one of Brazil’s most renowned architects, Isay Weinfeld. With this project, his goal was to create a hotel that looked and felt as peaceful as the nature that envelops it. It's so easily accessible from the city that guests are shocked at how quickly they are transported into what seems like a different world—a world surrounded by lakes, preserved forestry, and stunning gardens.
To brush up on your architectural history, check out our profile of the seminal but too-often-overlooked modernist Lina Bo Bardi, who along with her husband, the Italian art dealer and curator Pietro Maria Bardi, was integral in the establishment of the São Paolo Museum of Art (1968), which Bo Bardi designed with four bright-red exterior columns supporting the concrete-and-glass building suspended aboveground. Bo Bardi also designed the couple’s residence, a modern villa above São Paulo called the Glass House, now part of the Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi Institute and open to the public by appointment.
Also worth checking out: our slideshow of work by the architect, interior designer, and furniture designer Sergio Rodrigues.
For an overview of some of the most exciting contemporary architecture in Brazil today, check out the work of São Paulo–based photographer Leonardo Finotti. "Brazil: Architecture in Photography," an exhibition of his work, featured 50 contemporary Brazilian projects by 50 different architectural firms from throughout the world.
And to see the way one family lives in São Paulo today, check out our story about the Chimney House, designed by Studio MK27. As writer Robert Landon puts it, "on São Paulo, [residents] Reinaldo and Piti Cóser are of a single mind. They love it. They would live nowhere else. But that powerful attraction is not based on looks. Vast swathes of the city are regrettably ugly, Reinaldo tells me. 'Very ugly,' Piti agrees." They've solved that problem by creating their own lovely haven—"smuggling a portion of the countryside calm into the city’s chaotic heart," as Landon writes.