AKQA, an international advertising agency ordered from Estúdio Penha a project to create an office with a homelike atmosphere in São Paulo, Brazil. It was a renovation project of a two-story house that should be adapted to the new necessities. The starting point was to preserve part of the existing house but with horizontal and vertical expansion.
The architecture of the 70´s two-story house was created by the former owner with arches and structural walls made of solid brick that was preserved. The starting points for the project was: to maintain the constructive memory of the house, to integrate the new environments with the existing ones, to create a garden that would permeate throughout the entire house and to think about sustainable consumption solutions.
The project was developed to make good use of the whole space on both floors. On the ground floor are the main areas for clients and for their support, in the external area all of the setback areas were used as permeable areas creating a large garden around the house and in the backyard, where the former pool existed, rows of seats were projected for exhibition of films and presentations. On the first floor is the area for 40 members of the staff and the second floor (vertical expansion) holds a green roof and two mezzanines (one communicates with the reception area and creates the triple height ceiling).
One of the objectives of the project is to make clear and harmonic the contrast between the old house and the new interventions, whereby the plaster was removed from the walls to make the bricks apparent. For the new internal walls, structural concrete blocks were used and on the outside, the walls, including the closure of existing windows, were made of cast-in-place concrete. The window openings of the old construction were preserved and closed with new glass panes to preserve the superposition between the old and the new.
For the implementation of this project, the old house required a structural reinforcement. A metallic structure was chosen where the pillars become, in addition to an important structural element, an aesthetical element that makes the vertical connection of all floors, with new and reminiscent elements. A covering in thermo-acoustic tile inclined to the North side was built, which helps in the control of sunshine. On the South façade, a large window frame enables the entry of natural lighting throughout the entire combination of environments through the mezzanines.
The element that provides identity to this project is the patchwork of old iron gates and railings that operate as brise soleil for the new environments of the house.
It was necessary to project a complex net of ducts and pipes for connection of electricity, hydraulics, lighting, network, sound, sprinklers, air conditioning, and this was accomplished in an apparent way, showing clearly the complex infrastructure that causes the house to “function”, an aesthetic decision that is not restricted to this, it helps easy maintenance.
New technologies and the consciousness with the preservation of the planet´s natural resources permeate the project. Reused or certified wood was used and also elements that were already part of the house, such as brick walls and tiles. In this same sense, the use of sustainable systems like solar panels gathering of rainwater for reuse and lighting with led lamps, causes the use of the house to occur in a way that minimizes the use of electric power and treated water.
Air conditioning: Prorac
Cctv and access control: EPS sistemas
Acoustics consultant: Harmonia
Power system: Green Projetos e Consultoria
Hydraulics: Green Projetos e Consultoria
Structure: Enplatec Projetos de Engenharia
Landscaping: Rodrigo Oliveira
Work execution: Grupo Lock Engenharia