This Renovated Pad in São Paulo's Iconic Lausanne Building Is a Breath of Fresh Air

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Led by AR Architects, the update mixes Brazilian Brutalism with contemporary cool.

With brightly colored shutters characterizing its memorable facade, the iconic Lausanne apartment block in São Paulo contains 60 apartments spread across four floors. Designed by German architect Franz Heep in 1958, the landmark is a great example of how thoughtful architecture brought levity and dynamism to the multi-family residential complexes built in Brazil during the '50s and '60s.

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After a young couple from New York City approached São Paulo-based AR Architects for a renovation of their 1,905-square-foot, two-bedroom unit, architects Juan Pablo Rosenberg and Marina Acayaba turned to materials like wood, steel, exposed concrete, marble, and terrazzo in reference to the original material palette of the building—and its Brazilian Brutalist character.

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To delimit the space and bring a contemporary feel to the design, Rosenberg and Acayaba—who collaborated with otherstudio on the interiors—incorporated white steel shelves to create a strong sense of lightness and linearity. 

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The generous, open-plan living room is flanked by a terrace on one side and a kitchen on another, and leads to two bedrooms and a cozy home office

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In the living area, cool, raw concrete walls are contrasted with warm parquet floors. 

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White terrazzo floors, commonly seen in São Paulo in the '50s, add a hint of nostalgia to the kitchen and dining room, while a living vertical green wall on the terrace brings a touch of tropical chic to the home. 

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By contrasting the Luasanne’s historic, Brutalist architecture with a refined, cosmopolitan interior, the architects succeeded in harmonizing this contemporary apartment with its historical setting. 

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Project Credits: 

Architecture: AR Arquitetos 

Lighting design: Rafael Leão 

Interior design: AR Arquitetos and Otherstudio 

Kitchen: Adresse  

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