Sliding doors

“For me every job represents a unique opportunity to create a project totally about light: I like to study how it moves, how it embraces things and people.”

These are the words of the Brazilian architect Fernanda Marques: born in 1965, founder of the architecture firm Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados, with a team of almost all women (including two sisters), the young designer is a rising star on the residential design scene in São Paulo. He has created dream houses immersed in the rain forest to the north of the city, but also design penthouses atop the most iconic buildings in the capital.

Like the one published on these pages: 300 square meters of light and lightness, a stage for the eclectic collection of contemporary art of the owners. “The main idea,” Marques says, “was to free up the whole living area from functional and spatial rankings, to create visual planes that flow into each other in a very natural way.”

How? Thanks to large swiveling or sliding doors that open or close to generate different settings when needed. The house, with a simple gesture, transforms into a sort of domestic art gallery: an airy loft, full of light, where the paintings stand out against pale walls, become the real protagonists.

Vice versa, when the large panels are closed the traditional layout reappears, with intimate and private rooms: in this case the furnishings, all iconic pieces chosen from the international design scene, take on the leading role. The two spirits of the house coexist in perfect symbiosis, forming a variegated spatial resource, with paths that offer interesting views, always different, always changing.

The choice of pure forms, without any decorative features and above all with the use of simple, natural materials – especially wood – contributes to create pure spaces of great lightness, balanced in terms of colors and materials.

In particular, the long wooden planks that run along the ceiling and floor (as well as several divider partitions) transform the apartment into a sort of welcoming, intimate ‘box,’ erasing the sense of emptiness that might be triggered by such large spaces.

The technical lighting design also contributes to achieve the desired result. The precisely gauged direct and indirect lighting creates the ideal setting for the works of art, while at the same time enhancing the remarkable furnishings.

Widespread use of white on the walls becomes the winning chromatic choice to reflect and accentuate daylight, though it too is always precisely controlled and diffused thanks to light curtains shielding the large windows.

The service spaces like the kitchen can also be concealed from view with a system of folding panels, enhancing the minimal, super-functional character of the whole house (in this case the materic image of wood replaces the white plaster of the large mobile partitions).

The area of the master bedroom offers maximum privacy, occupying a wing well separated from the living area, and also containing bedrooms for the children and guests. A complete wardrobe system forms another filter between day and night areas, echoing the leitmotif of the mobile panels.

Photos Fernando Guerra – Article Laura Ragazzola