The designers of mf+arquitetos describe this beautiful project itself as a 'refuge', a sanctuary, and that's what it is. The owner comes to rest in his eccentric mancave and becomes one with Brazilian nature.
Imagicasa spoke to the design couple behind mf+arquitetos about their inspiring design Collector's Nook, which is characterised by a purity of forms, integration of outdoor living and the use of natural materials with a colour palette of earthy tones. Who is mf+arquitetos? Can you introduce yourself to those who don't know you?
“We are Mariana Garcia Oliveira and Filipi Oliveira, both graduated in architecture and city planning. We were not exemplary students. In 2009, we married and founded MF Architects, which we later baptized mf+arquitetos. In 2014, architect Lucas Gonçalves joined the office partnership that existed since the first year of the university. mf+arquitetos has its office in the city of Franca, in the center of São Paulo. We are active in residential, commercial, industrial and interior design projects. We try to distinguish ourselves by our contemporary style and always propose a design concept that aims to integrate the interior with the exterior, combined with formal purity, straight lines and Brazilian building materials that radiate a new living concept.”
A refuge where you become one with Brazilian nature
What does ‘architecture' mean to you?
“Architecture is the art of transforming dreams into reality, making lines and shapes into concrete details. For us, architecture is the challenge of creating spaces that remain united, with unique features and in perfect harmony.”
Who are your great role models in the design world?
“We are inspired by different greats. Jacobsen and Bernardes, Marcia Kogan, Arthur housen, these are all Brazilian architects.” Can you tell me something about all the unique materials you have chosen for Collector's Nook?
“The material we use is always a key component in the simplicity of the lines and purity of shapes. It integrates a pattern of natural materials with tons of earth. The fabrics, wood, marble and stones; it is all mixed with the essential: living, coming, discovering, knowing, travelling, receiving and appreciating.”
An integration of the interior with the exterior
What were the particular challenges for this project?
“The biggest challenge was the amount of time in which it had to happen. All the rough work was done in metal structure, with plasterboard around it, so that the project could be completed in just three weeks.”
Why was it necessary to complete the project in three weeks?
“We had been given a total of three months by the owner, but only three weeks in the construction phase. Because it was a dry construction, and therefore there was no moisturization during the work, we needed flexibility during the process in the short term.” The colour palette and the light are beautiful, where did you get the inspiration for Collector's Nook?
“We wanted to fully integrate nature into the room, so we designed a vertical garden in this pattern. We placed two sliding doors which are incorporated in the stone wall, this way the house turns into a balcony. The ceiling is covered with wooden laths. The afternoon sun hits the facade, so we covered everything with wooden blinds who filter the sunlight and make the surroundings more pleasant to stay. We aimed at a simple architecture, timeless and integrated into nature. We use natural materials such as stone, wood, marble and concrete, all brought together in great comfort. The furniture design, art and photos of Brazil give this project the warmth it deserves. We always keep in mind the simplicity and purity of shapes, we eliminate overcrowdings and emphasize materials. In this particular project, our inspiration came from the combination of interior and exterior with the use of natural, warm and earthly materials. We wanted to use Brazilian furniture in a timeless design.” Can you walk me through the house?
“The garage has a metal roof on a swing, bordered by a cedar lining. Large sliding panels separate the garage from the rooms. When entering these rooms, we have a sofa signed by Jader Almeida and a soft armchair signed by Sérgio Rodrigues. The suspended fireplace brings warmth into the room. The coffee table shows some of the dog sculptures by Marcos de Sertania. The kitchen table is made of green Guatemalan marble signed by Jade Almeida. Large glass sliding panels hide behind the stone wall of the reconstructed garage and the living rooms all incorporated the green wall and balcony. The living room has a bookshelf, designed by our own studio, with a wide range of artwork. At the centre of the suite is the bed with more bookshelves behind it, and the bathroom toilet included. Two glass panels with blinds divide the bathroom, where we placed a bathtub in the center.”
Why the glass roof over the bathroom?
“This glass opening is made to provide the green bathroom wall of natural light. So you can also enjoy the outside air and light while you relax in the bathtub. Day and night you can look at the sky through the glass ceiling.”
Can you tell me a little more about the artworks and furniture in the house?
“We chose pieces from great Brazilian designers, such as the soft armchair designed by Sérgio Rodrigues, the marble table designed by Jader Almeida in Guatemala, or the bed by Osvaldo Meloni. The fixed carpentry of shelves and cabinets all carry our signature.”
This interview was originally published in Imagicasa Spring 2018.
Images © Filipe Araujo