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Elle Decor Italia

Ethnic hues and vintage furniture: an architect’s apartment in Sao Paulo

Second-hand features and tribal finishes, waste wood, and epoxy resin: the Brazil apartment of Lula Gouveia and Maìra Acayaba

Maíra Acayaba

An eclectic and eco-sustainable decor: check out the apartment of Lula Gouveia and Maìra Acayaba in Sao Paulo

Ethic style, mid-XXth century design icons, recycled features, and vintage furniture: the apartment owned by Brazilian architect Lula Gouveia, partner of SuperLimão Studio, and his life companion, photographer Maíra Acayaba, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows a range of unexpected and innovative solutions. Stretching over a 156 square-metre area within a 1960s building, the property mixes reused materials and industrial touches.

The architectural response focused on integrating the environments and removing selected partition walls, whilst adopting sober materials and a neutral chromatic palette in order to enhance the owners’ private collection of frames, photos and design must-haves. Indeed, stealing the stage in the entrance hall, here’s the first prototype of the Biro-Biro Platinado, a steel light piece designed especially by SuperLimão.

On the adjacent wall, a graphite panel of ethnic taste recovered from one of Gouveia’s previous restylings is centrally installed. The epoxy flooring and honeycomb-structured ceiling – the latter featuring a LED lighting fixtures – provide the environment with a further ethnic and industrial twist. The large living area is bordered by wooden benches with many cushions, while the space is divided by a movable sofa. 

A hanging garden filled with tropical plants hangs on the side, thus helping create a indoor microclimate meant to humidify and filter air. A pair of sun loungers built in corrugated metal sheets – a work by Lula Gouveia himself – lies just below the domestic micro-forest.

The open kitchen smoothly develops into the living so to shape an integrated ambiance: the only preserved walls include a mural of Lurca tiles and the original cabogos sourced from the building’s façade, which was opened during renovation works. 

Furniture mixes classic and contemporary design, with the kitchen being an ensemble of recycled office furniture and old iron panpings.

A sliding door made of navy plywood with wax finishes leads to the night-area, which comprises Maíra Acayaba’s studio and the master bedroom with bed frame and bedside tables made out from waste wood created by the couple’s friend and designer Diana Albuquerque.

A space enclosed by a bookcase with plywood staircase opens onto the daughter’s bedroom, where a painting with geometric motifs resembles a sketched forest; the lower wall section is finished with slate paint for the kid to play freely with chalks and paints. 

Lastly, the bathroom combines epoxy flooring, sink and countertop with concrete planters. 



by Paola Testoni / 14 February 2018


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