Who lives in this house? Could you tell us more about your client(s) and their aspirations?
How detailed was their brief and how was your relationship during and after the construction phase?
He is in advertising and she is an art director. They have two teenage daughters.
They bought the adjoining lot and wanted to build an annex to the house to expand the service and private areas and use this opportunity to update the existing (and remaining). This happened because the family wanted more space as, in fact, the original house was not that large, and as both of the owners work there, they wanted more comfort. The daughters also grew up, and needed more space too. The integration of the new studio with the kitchen through an open patio reflects the intensification of the family living aspect that was also sought by the clients.
With such a monochromatic palette of natural materials, was the treatment of the interiors left in the hands of the architect?
How involved were the clients in this last phase?
The original white house remained this way, being complemented by a palette of gray materials, from the darkest basalt stone of the stairs to the lightest gray of the wood of the new facades, passing through the wood floor which was dyed in an intermediary tone of gray.
The clients have very good eyes and are very creative. They already had the habit of changing the furniture from time to time and helped a lot to re-compose the interiors and even the landscaping. Usually, every client participates in the interior design, especially the decoration. But these clients did more than just participate; they conceived whole parts of the house, with a lot of quality. It couldn’t be different, considering their creative profile and the clear references they have.
Were you invited to sleep over after completion?
A little more about the house:
The Gama Issa House summarizes a time of MarcioKogan’s work that favored white surfaces, formal compositions starting from the intersection of volumes and internal spaces with varied ceiling heights, creating diverse architectural sensations for each space. These experiences began with the Goldfarb House (1992) and continued up until Gama Issa House.
Articulated by a living room with a ceiling of 5.36 meters, the social space opens out to the garden via a sliding glass door that covers a span of 17.13 meters. The bookcase serves as cladding for the longitudinal wall of the living room and configures, also, a visual interruption for two symmetric staircases.
Simultaneous to this project, Kogan’s office was reorganized and its name was changed to Studio MK27. Thus, Gama Issa House is a kind of starting point for the office as it has been structured during the following decades. This was the first of Kogan’s projects to get international acclaim when it was nominated for the World Architecture Award (WAA) in Berlin, in 2002.
The house was retrofitted in 2015 but the original house did not change much structurally. The floor, finishes, decoration and the glass window frames, which are now 1 pane of glass each, have been changed, since was impossible to do at the time of the original construction. The biggest change was the addition of an attached volume, another rectangle lined with wood, smaller than the main block, and which increased the built area by 50%. There we find the client's studio, the two daughters' bedrooms, a guest bedroom and the laundry area.
The project followed the same concept/guiding line as the original, and we envisioned this expansion and renovation project as an opportunity to upgrade the house, bringing the Gama Issa home to what it would be if it were conceived today.