Greater São Paolo, in southeast Brazil, is a financial and cultural
capital with a population of over 20 million. The metropolis as we see
it today is the result of rapid 20th century informal growth, spurred in
part by the success of coffee and other agricultural and mining exports. São Paolo is home to soaring skyscrapers and sprawling favelas, modernist landmarks as well as groundbreaking adaptive reuse projects. While a center for innovative new-build architecture, a multitude of architects and interior architects today are also focused on transforming the city’sexisting urban fabric through thoughtful reuse or repositioning projects. Here we highlight 25 of the pioneering architecture and design studios operating out of São Paolo.
1. Studio mk27
Marcio Kogan established mk27 in 2001. The office prides itself on a
democratic and collaborative form of work, in which each architect is
coauthor of his or her project. The multidisciplinary team is equally
knowledgeable about art, music, cinema, economy and politics as it is
about architecture and urbanism, and comprises a selection of
architects in São Paolo in addition to dozens of collaborators in Brazil
and abroad to develop new projects in the United States, Latin
America, Europe and China. The office’s projects follow in the line of
Brazilian modernists, with pure forms and clean details, a preference
for horizontal proportions and for the use of unprocessed materials. It
has completed houses, restaurants, hotels, urban squares, stores,
offices and museums, and has won more than 50 Brazilian awards.
Its project portfolio includes ‘Planar House’ built in Porto Feliz - a
radical exercise in horizontality, with a green roof that mimics the
surrounding lawn as well as contributes to thermal comfort.
Triptyque is an internationally awarded French-Brazilian architectural agency recognized for its naturalist and rationalist approach. It is led by Guillaume Sibaud and Olivier Raffaëlli, founding partners, graduates of Paris La Seine School of Architecture and the Paris Institute of Urban Planning. Driven by the same interest in contemporary metropolis and the desire to confront other realities, they founded the Triptyque agency in São Paulo in 2000. Their practice benefits from this global, open and dynamic city, which allows them to build their own architectural language. The studio’s variety of projects include ‘Colombia’, a private house in the transforming Jardins neighborhood of São Paolo - this building, facing north, features a wood facade that filters light, noise and views to and from the busy urban street.
Studio Guilherme Torres Crisp forms, minimalist details and ‘rich-but-reserved’ material palettes characterize Studio Guilherme’s designs, which are applied across single-family residences, interior renovations, retail fit-outs and other project types. The studio’s projects include AN House, designed as three blocks forming a U-shape and featuring large open
spans, the use of wooden brise soleils, exposed concrete and white
Superlimão Studio is a multidisciplinary team of creative minds. The
practice focuses on the influence of space flows and activities as an
extension of individual behavior. It seeks new aesthetic languages
inspired by everyday activities. The studio’s portfolio includes the
new headquarters of LAR Construtora in Brazil: with a total area of
550m2, the project was divided into three major areas - financial and
administrative, corporate and retail - with collaborative spaces that
permeate these three areas to allow natural exchanges among them.
5. Estudio Guto Requena
Estudio Guto Requena is a multidisciplinary creative studio based in
São Paulo investigating the intersections among architecture, product
design, communication and technology, and exploring new forms of
design and digital technologies that can stimulate emotions, empathy
and the sense of collectiviness. The practice’s projects hybridize the
analogical with the virtual.
6. Studio Dlux
São Paolo-based Studio Dlux is a practice driven by collaboration and
a collective spirit. Its varied portfolio includes projects such as
Questtonó’s new Headquarters in São Paolo’s Pompeia
neighbourhood: here Studio Dlux adapted an existing building for new
work and living spaces, adding a glass structure to its rooftop that is
accessed through a flight of stairs and houses a lab space where the
company runs workshops and client presentations.
7. Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados
Henrique Reinach and Mauricio Mendonça started Reinach Mendonça
Arquitetos Associados in 1987. The studio’s projects negotiate form,
light and comfort with a contemporary language. Great attention is
given to circulation and exterior openings, creating pleasurable
spaces to see, be and walk through. The firm has garnered such
recognition as the Young Architects Prize by the Institute of Architects
of Brazil, honorable mention awards from the Brazilian Association of
Architecture Firms and first prize at the Brasília Biennale of
Architecture. Works by the firm have been published in numerous
publications such as Abitare-Italy, Escala-Colombia and Architectural
8. Candida Tabet Arquitetura
Daring, versatility and balance are the three self-proclaimed
characteristics of the work of Candida Tabet's architectural office.
Based in São Paulo since 1982 the studio has realized residential,
commercial and institutional projects around the globe, creatively
combining architecture and interior design. The designs are
developed on the basis of research into materials and on elaborate
construction, always taking into consideration the environments in
which they are to come to life. The projects are marked by
contemporary design and luminosity.
9. Biselli Katchborian Arquitetos
Biselli Katchborian Arquitetos was founded in 1987, as a partnership
started at Mackenzie Presbyterian University Architecture School,
where Mario Biselli and Artur Katchborian graduated in 1985. Both
partners are also teachers, bringing to the office the experience of
academic reflections and research.
Angelo Bucci, since 1989, has simultaneously held two
complementary positions: professional, as an architect, and
academic, as a professor of architecture. SPBR, which he founded in
2003, represents the combination of practice and theoretical
knowledge, works and words. The office works on building projects as
well as publications, exhibitions, lectures and studios. SPBR’s projects
value structural conception, constructive solutions, economic
viability and the interaction with the city.
Perkins&Will is a global design practice founded in 1935, which hascompleted projects of all scales and typologies around the world. ItsSão Paolo studio has designed projects such as ‘Ribeirão Preto Residence’, a modern and nature-connected haven, located in São Paulo’s countryside city of Ribeirão Preto.The residence is a one-story structure on an accentuated sloped terrain, divided in two programmatic volumes and placed in an L-shaped layout.
12. Bruno Rossi Arquitetos
Bruno Rossi Arquitetos is an architectural firm based in São Paulo and
Campinas, directed by architect Bruno Rossi, who is also a professor
of architecture design.The balance of practice and academics has guided the office's activity. The office believes that architectural drawings, ideas and concepts are only full when they become a built object.
13. METRO Arquitetos Associados
Founded in 2000 in São Paulo, METRO works at various scales, from
temporary installations to urban interventions. The work allies a
modernist architectural tradition, resulting from the frequent
collaboration with the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, to a practice
which complies with contemporary issues. On the one hand, it explores architecture in which material organization serves the public use of the built spaces; on the other, it explores form and expression. It is a practice that combines technical rigor with careful research and complex detailing.
14. Vasco Lopes Arquitetura
Vasco Lopes Arquitetura was founded in 2006. In addition to
individual projects, it develops partnerships with other offices, which
allows for an enrichment of visions and a diversity of approaches. The
main elements that emphasize its architecture are the expression of
its epoch, design quality and careful detailing.
15. Terra e Tuma Associados
The architects Danilo Terra, Pedro Tuma, Juliana Terra and Fernanda
Sakano direct the office Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Projects
developed by the office - from the reformulation of entire neighborhoods in risk areas to small residences - are often completed in association with sociologists, anthropologists, engineers and architects.
16. MMBB Architects
MMBB Architects came about in 1991 as a result of the association of
the architects Fernando de Mello Franco, Marta Moreira and Milton Braga. Previous experience provided by their capacities as collaborators in Brazilian and foreign companies was gathered in one common organization, consolidating a comprehensive professional performance which has stood out in the development of public and institutional designs in building and urbanism. Associations with engineering consultancy companies have yielded the development of infrastructure urban designs such as bus station terminuses and corridors, an underground garage, highway toll places and pedestrian walkways. The continuous collaboration with the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha since 1995, has offered the opportunity to develop large scale designs for institutional and governmental bodies. Its members organize cultural events, exhibitions and biennials, as well as teach and perform research.
17. Studio Arthur Casas
From inside to outside, from object to landscape, Studio Arthur Casas’
creations are intrinsically connected in a horizontal scale. Dialogue is
the key for conceiving projects that range from a chair to an urban
plan, influenced by a spirit both modern and contemporary, Brazilian
and cosmopolitan. The Studio works in several areas, including
residential and commercial architecture, public competitions, interior
and product design. It has 40 architects, urban planners and designers
in offices in São Paulo and New York, has built work in cities including
Tokyo, Paris and New York, and completed projects such as a new
University Campus in Curitiba and the Brazilian Pavilion for Expo
18. Andrade Morettin Associates
Andrade Morettin Associates, founded in 1997, focuses on architecture and urbanism, having developed projects for office buildings, housing, schools, cultural centers, exhibitions and other typologies. Its projects include Instituto Moreira Salles - a cultural center in São Paulo, where the firm encased exhibition spaces in alarge red wooden box, which is visible through the building's translucent glass walls.
19. Dal Pian Arquitetos
Founded in 1992, Dal Pian Arquitetos has completed a range of public
and private projects at different scales in the sectors of culture,
education, housing, sports, corporate, industrial, logistics and urban
infrastructure. The studio’s approach considers environmental
impact and technology, and aims at a contemporary, Brazilian
architectural language, with a constantly renewed expression. The
company is represented by its directors, Lilian Dal Pian and Renato
Dal Pian, and its portfolio includes projects such as the
NASP - Natura Headquarters , where it designed a bright orange
staircase and patches of vegetation visible from the exterior of the
20. Nildo José + arquitetos associados
The young Bahian architect Nildo José works from the motto:
“Architecture needs to draw sighs, tell a story and be the setting for
happiness”. Added to this central challenge is a great intimacy with
design trends, contemporary visual arts and a passion for functional
spaces. The architect incorporates influences and images from various
trips and cultures, with Brazilian traditions and materials. As a result
he creates projects that mix an international language with a Brazilian
21. CR2 Arquitetura
CR2 Arquitetura produces investigative, creative and critical
architecture, architecture with fewer walls, and ultimately projects for
the city and the people who live there. The studio seeks to bring
people closer through architecture. It works on a philosophy that a
more inclusive city is possible. The studio has completed over 100
22. Aflalo/Gasperini Arquitetos
Founded in 1962 as Croce Aflalo e Gasperini, Aflalo/Gasperini Arquitetos combines tradition and innovation in the search for architecture solutions. In 50 years, the office has completed landmarks such as the IBM headquarters and the Federal Court of Accounts building in São Paulo, the Theater Claudio Santoro in Campos do Jordao and the Peugeot Building in Buenos Aires. The office’s projects span the commercial, services, residential, hotel, public and social, recreational and industrial sectors.
23. Studio AG Arquitetura
Studio AG Arquitetura seeks to produce projects that are light, happy
places and that carry meaning, projects prepared for new times that
are connected with new habits and trends. The studio repects each
client's lifestyle with an awareness of how much an environment
influences the life and coexistence of its users. Studio AG explores new
possibilities and materials, without leaving behind what is
Created in 1999, the FGMF office was born with the purpose of
producing a contemporary architecture without restrictions on the
use of materials, construction techniques or scales. It acts with no
predefined or rigid formulas: with each challenge, FGMF uses drawing
as a research tool to elaborate a new vision of building, object and city.
25. Matheus Farah e Manoel Maia Arquitetura
Since 2017, Matheus Farah and Manoel Maia have completed such
projects as the concept store of Dengo Chocolates and the Estações
Cacau Conduru project, where Dengo's raw material is produced. The
pair has won the competition for the Clube Associação Fazenda Boa
Vista, a residential and hotel complex in Porto Feliz, and aredeveloping 20 residential projects in high-end condominiums within São Paulo.
The selection curated by the Archello editorial team is based on a mixture of the amount of featured projects and the views they generated. For a more comprehensive list of São Paolo architects you can take a look here.