Mauricio Arruda Design


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Projects & Spaces
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The first resident of this apartment bought the property in 1957, the year when the city hadonly 2.6 million inhabitants and the financial center was moving from the downtown area tothat new planned neighborhood. Currently, the city of Sao Paulo has 20 million inhabitantsand the building just a small walk from Paulista Avenue still retains the charm of Brazilianmodernism.The original layout of this apartment, two blocks away from the city’s flagship avenue wasoriginally subdivided into social, service and living areas. Looking for a more integrated layoutfor this mid-century apartment, architect and product designer Mauricio Arruda redesignedthe spaces, using materials and finishing that were iconic of the 50’s aesthetics in Brazil and aunique mix of furniture. With an area of 150m², the 60 year-old apartment revealed itspotential to upgrade to the new needs when all the walls were knocked down and just thecentral pillar in the social area remained still.The main change in the layout was the repositioning of the kitchen area where originallythere was one of the bedrooms. The two bathrooms were transformed into one masterbathroom and the original kitchen was remodeled into a guest bedroom.As most of the apartments in Brazil, the original layout featured a staff area with bedroom,bathroom and working area for maids. The former staff bathroom was expanded to serve as alavatory for guests. The service area covers the location were originally was a staff dormitory.Many coatings used on floors, countertops and walls refer to the period when the buildingwas built. Now used in a more contemporary context. Furthermore, some original materialswere reused in the new project; for example, the green tiles used in the shower walls, theglass doorknobs and the wall lamps in the master suite.

The hardwood floors were dyed in Black to create a uniform space since many additions hadto be done when the walls came down. The floor combined with the pure white walls createsa neutral space where furniture, objects, artworks stand out in their best personality.In the entrance hall, the Jose Collection piece indicates the Brazilian hi-lo style of living. Iredid this place to work as my laboratory of ideas that surround my mind. It is a reflection ofmy mood, my memories, my view on things, and what grabs my attention in the world.In the living area, bathed in natural light filtered through the canopy of trees planted at thetime of construction of the building, there are several pillows with fabrics of the Brazilianbrand FAAUNA ( on the MICASA couch ( and GeorgeNelson lamp.The armchairs and coffee tables as many other furniture and objects are part of the privatecollection of the resident, collector of Brazilian mid century modern furniture, most of thembought in flea markets. On the walls of the living area, a map of Brazil, which shows thearchitect's passion for popular design, photos of Marcel Gauteroth, Rafael Assef and FelipeMorozini, who used to shoot all Mauricio’s products.The dining room table HOUSE OF CARDS, designed by Mauricio Arruda, blends perfectly withthe green folding chairs AIR by Tom Dixon. On the wall, more artworks by Brazilian artistssuch as Marcos Chaves, Marepe, Hercules Barsotti and Ernesto Neto, and a framed WernerPANTON Orange cloth brought from Berlin and a childhood photo of the architect next to hisbrother.In the TV room, a sliding door allows the isolation of the space for the convenience of anyguest. The Florence Knoll sofa works perfectly as bed when needed. In this area the photoMarcos Villasboas dialogues with the pictures of the great Brazilian popular illustrator J.Borges. The center table in rosewood is an original piece of Brazilian master furnituredesigner Sergio Rodrigues. The white-wired iron chair by unknown author is an original piecefrom the 60’s, a classic item for Brazilian balconies and swimming pool areas of the time.To lighten the master bathroom, Mauricio installed a backlight from PANAM airlinepurchased at vintage shop. In 2007, a city Law called Clean City forced the removal of allsigns over 1m² out of commercial facades. ’With the removal of the signboards andbillboards many facades of buildings with architectural value previously covered byadvertising became apparent again and can now be enjoyed by the population. Theinspiration for my work comes a lot from the streets, from people who work and circulate onit. I like to watch the street vendors, the garbage collectors, people on the subway, thepopular shops, etc. Brazilians are very good humored, love to improvise, are simple, colorfuland diverse. I seek these qualities in my work.”

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