Architect Guto Requena was challenged to convert a triplex located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, into an ultra modern single family home that combined the use of saturated colour with contemporary materials such as concrete and wood. The homeowners where looking for a complete reinvention of the building and over the course of two years, the building was gutted and reconfigured into a space that reflects the unique and artistic vision that the homeowners sought. The new main entry is locate on the second floor, and here – what was originally a kitchen, living room and two bedrooms – is now a gourmet kitchen, and a unique dining space for entertaining that melds into and becomes part of the building structure. Just off of the dining area is a balcony complete with pool. The Dining area is a powerful statement of form and function. A custom one of a kind table was designed and created by Guto Requena with the help of a software program. Every joint and angle was carefully measured and crafted with the final result being part table, part building, and part sculpture. Made of concrete, the table is a peninsula design that is situated on a wood floor, the only end panel to the table angles down in several directions until it meets up with the edge of a concrete floor. On the other end, the table continues up the wall in its own separate collection of angles. At the table height it is narrower in width then it is at the ceiling height. The same applies to its depth. A group of 9 bold Rose Red industrial style pendants are suspended in a cluster over the table from the track lighting above. The wall and doorway are wood with a sun star clock of 3 distinct colours announcing the time in a bold and graphic display.
Just beside the dining area is a purple infused kitchen complete with island. The concrete floor and ceiling offer a neutral statement of texture next to the bold lacquered shades of the cabinetry and wall panels. The kitchen and wall panels are a selection of purple, wine, orange, and yellow that where in the clients wish list, the only colour request not used in this space is shades of blue – but the blue does appear in the far corner of this room just out of sight from the camera angle. The fusion of all these potent colours creates a statement of energy and life. Used in a purposeful contrast, the subdued tones of the mismatched bar stools and leather couch offer a place of calm for the eye to rest.
The subdued tones of the couch and bar stools are both a deliberate resting point for the eye as well as a natural transition to the deck space beyond the sliding glass doors.
Across from the couch is a rustic wood chair covered in a very loosely woven upholstery of all the clients colour choices, including shades of blue. The blue is also brought out in the braided legs of the stool and side table.
On the deck a spiral staircase leads to the third level of the home, but first you must step up to a higher platform covered in a pebble mosaic that surrounds the pool.
On the platform there is just enough room for two green sling back sun chairs before the edge of the pool begins. The pool is surrounded on two sides by black privacy walls, the third side is the concrete façade of the building and on the fourth side is the beginning of the spiral staircase.
The privacy walls of the platform are opened up in two sections to create viewing windows of the cityscape below. The location of the building is such that the panoramic view of the rooftops below is uninterrupted and private.
On the other side of the closest privacy wall is a private outdoor eating area complete with distressed wood table, 4 mesh chairs, some plants, and a large sculpture of a baboon.
The spiral staircase leads up to a private terrace of lush plants and two statement chairs covered in a bold choice of tangerine. The Baroque detailing of the chairs is a well-planned statement against the clean modern lines of the building. The combination of a bright and unusual colour on a more traditional silhouette is completely on point with current trends as is the abundance of natural concrete and natural greenery.
Adjoining the terrace is the guest room. The room offers a space of complete privacy from the rest of the home as well as spectacular views easily seen through the abundance of floor to ceiling windows.
Back down on the second level there is a small washroom beside the kitchen and behind the dining area. Here, a large blue drum converted into a pedestal sink is juxtaposed against fun wallpapering of blue tropical birds and jet black detailing.
The main level of the home is the homeowners private retreat. A separate entrance allows the homeowner to come in private. The surroundings are far more subdued and cozy then the upper two levels and the wood flooring becomes the predominant feature rather then concrete. A media wall holds the flat screen TV and the various components below are housed in a console with an angled top. A deep comfy sofa loaded with pillows creates an inviting place to curl up and watch TV, or a wine upholstered wing back chair is the perfect place to read a book.
Behind the sofa is an office wall complete with open shelves and a long counter with 6″ drawers below.
A second, smaller kitchen offers a place to prepare meals for more intimate settings. Here there is only 7-1/2′ of counter space between the stove and fridge, but there is plenty of prep space available on the custom multi purpose concrete island. The island is prep space, eating space, and stairwell. A unique and unconventional design, the table height breaks up a lower natural wood 3 step staircase from the higher level of black stairs. The interesting combination of forms is as much art as it is furniture and brings a whole new meaning to dual purpose. The complete look is exacerbated by the wall of bronzed mirror to the left of the stairwell.
A modular 6-panel system closes the kitchen off of the space, or opens it up.
A plywood Buffet stained in black uses plastic bins in a variety of colours to store personal items.
A collection of baskets and wall art showcase the homeowners random choice of accessories. From a Swiss Cuckoo Clock, to hand-woven baskets, the pieces are arranged into a uniform and dynamic global vignette.
Just like the kitchen, the office space behing the living area can be hidden behind a series of wall panels. Behind the hidden office is the Master Bedroom.
The headboard wall of the Master Bedroom is actually part pony wall, part full height wall, with the pony wall creating a division to the ensuite. The bedroom is small in size and wrapped in charcoal drapery. Colour is introduced by the purple tiles used in the walk in shower . The tiles are highlighted even more with the use of white grout and the large framed photo on the wall of a scenic day is another carefully planned use of opposing design features.
The full height headboard wall in the Master Bedroom is the back of a small powder room, allowing both washrooms on this floor to share a wall of plumbing. This powder room is dark and dramatic, a complete contrast to the mood of the other two washrooms within the 3 levels of this home. .
Guto Requena Designs