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ISAY WEINFELD’s Archi in Brazil
Isay Weinfeld, Oscar Niemeyer, Marco Kogan and the Campana brothers are the architects and designers best representing Brazilian creativity today. The city of New York, always eager to keep up with the latest developments, has just organised an anthological exhibition about the work of Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, one of the most interesting contemporary architects, whose residential and commercial projects are changing the look of cities like San Paolo. Weinfeld’s minimalist style is inspired by Brazilian design of the ’50s.
 
Fazenda Boa Vista, Porto Feliz

Fazenda Boa Vista is a housing development on a 750 hectare property in Porto Feliz, 100 km from the city of San Paolo.  It contains a hotel and private villas, but the true focus is on nature, with 100 hectares of native forest, 15 lakes, woods and gardens, laneways in place of roads, golf courses and horse riding and polo facilities. Standing on one of the highest points on the property is a large horizontal structure with two symmetrical wings forming curves of light, one slightly concave and the other convex, flanking the central volume containing the reception area. The wooden pergola over the entry leading to the reception area in the building’s central crosspiece runs right through the luxuriant garden.

Grecia House, San Paolo

The perfect example of a residential building in the heart of San Paolo incorporating nature into its structure. Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld designed Grecia House as an eco-system in itself, a private home in San Paolo containing about 1,900 square metres of plant growth. The project was inspired by study of the large lot with plenty of natural vegetation on which the home was to be built. The first unusual thing about the design of the house is that the only thing visible from the outside is a modest cement structure, with an instantly visible bright yellow door. Inside, the building is made up of four connected structural blocks. The materials used are slabs of sanded gravel cement in the bedrooms, bare concrete in the office, wooden boards in the entertainment areas and more slabs of sanded cement in the dining areas.

Livraria da Villa, San Paolo

Livraria da Vila, designed by Isay Weinfeld Architects, is a unique space in San Paolo. The Livraria da Vila bookstore won the 2008 Yellow Pencil Award at the D & AD Awards in London, the Spark Prize at the Spark Awards in San Francisco and an honourable mention at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. The focus in the project is on showcasing the product contained in this public place, the merchandise in the store and how it is sold. The interior solutions make a visit to the bookstore as enjoyable an experience as possible for its customers.

360 Building, San Paolo

One of the latest projects by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld is 360 Building, a housing complex in San Paolo consisting of 62 "houses with courtyards" stacked one on top of the other like the blocks in a Jenga game. The idea behind the project was not to build yet another of San Paolo’s typical compact apartment blocks without any outdoor space. The 360 Building project introduces a building based on the vertical model of multi-family living; but rather than adding little balconies, architect Isay Weinfeld gives each apartment its own patio, making space between the apartments so as to offer shelter from the elements and privacy on every patio. Residents enter the building via a suspended walkway at the first floor level, going past the swimming pool that runs around its perimeter.


Casa Cubo, San Paolo

Casa Cubo was designed to be a sort of personal museum for a couple in San Paolo, a place for art lovers and a showcase for their splendid collection. Architect Isay Weinfeld designed two staircases that create a highly evocative space. The first, a sequence of stainless steel steps, is suspended between the loft and the floor of the living room, while another, wooden staircase winds down from the top part of the home. Both staircases are suspended from above and look as if they are floating just above the floor. Floor to ceiling glass doors all around the perimeter of the home open the space onto a patio and a garden. With big white walls and a monochromatic floor, the living room is like a white canvas ready to receive paintings, sculptures, installations and designer furniture.

In today’s Brazil, the favoured form of modernist architecture features dark, opulent wood, elegant sculptural staircases and big glass rectangles opening onto luxuriant greenery. Just like Isay Weinfeld’s Casa Cubo.

www.isayweinfeld.com
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