Greenery Breathes Fresh Life Into a Brazilian Midcentury
Having served as her birthplace and childhood home where her parents and grandparents lived, the 1953 apartment that a client asked Brazilian studio Cupertino Arquitetura to renovate was steeped in family history.
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After she inherited the property following the death of her father, the owner sought a contemporary refresh to better accommodate her, her husband, and their young child. At the same time, she wanted to preserve important family heirlooms and references to the apartment’s past.
There was also the challenge of a very tight budget of approximately $50,000.
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Undaunted, the architects rose to the challenge of renovating the Tucumã Apartment, named after the street on which it’s located. Originally compartmentalized into eleven rooms, the 1,070-square-foot home was dramatically opened up following the teardown of multiple interior walls.
To give the updated open layout even greater access to natural light and ventilation, the architects turned two outdoor patios into a pair of glass-walled gardens that inject greenery into the heart of the home.
"The brief was to create a new language and transform a place full of family history for a new circle of life, a new generation," explain the architects. "We updated the layout to create more open spaces that would be better suited to contemporary living in a large city like São Paulo."
Cupertino Arquitetura also oversaw the interior design and used new millwork and cabinetry as functional, space-saving room dividers.
Taking cues from the couple’s modern lifestyles, the architects have dressed the apartment in simple and contemporary furnishing, while maintaining a neutral color palette to highlight the vibrant gardens.
The floors are finished with resin and polyurethane paint throughout the home, including in the bathroom—a material decision the architects say "helps to visually enlarge the space and blur divisions between rooms."