Plural, contemporary and investigative projects, concerning mainly the use of materials and the urban interaction, are fundamental characteristics of the works by Brazilian architecture office FGMF Arquitetos. A real example of this DNA is the project made for the design office Casa Rex, at Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brazil. Typical elements from infrastructure works were applied within this building, giving a different aesthetic effect to the project.
The project is divided into three different intents – façade, studio and foyer/exhibition area. Starting by the façade, built with stone gabions (steel wire mesh used as an earth retaining wall on the roads) filled with red sandstone and grey flintstones. In the work area, a high ceiling and a shelf made of concrete pipes (the same elements used for streams canalization) and, at the reception, the exhibition area takes advantage of the demolition and exposes the original construction elements of the building.
At the exhibition area, as soon as we move into the reception, the work developed by the Casa Rex designers will be displayed for whoever visits the agency. In the 600m2 of built area, the decayed aspect contrasts with the clean and white path leading to the meeting and work rooms.
The work area has become a big, high-ceiled common studio with a generous space and a huge 60 sqm-shelf, created from pre-fab concrete elements, which also contain stairs leading to the director’s room. The use of contrast and unusual techniques and elements has transformed the architecture into the Casa REX’s very identity, expressing their innovative and original work.
Fernando Forte, partner at FGMF, says that it was possible to subvert the original function of the elements, incorporating a statement of reuse and recycling in this project. “Casa REX project was a great chance to test the use of materials and techniques usually used in the infrastructure into an interesting scale, closer to everyone’s routine. The robust looks of the materials, together with a particular aesthetics for this project, was extremely cost-effective and had a result with strong personality, expressing the identity of the design office.”