Your imagination is your carrier to another world; it easily gives you a glimpse of what another kind of actuality could be. So when Studio Guilherme Torres was commissioned a project, he imagined architecture that was vibrant, dipped in colours and was the epitome of funky perception and then went on to make it a reality!
Vox Vitacon is a spectacularly crafted, modern apartment with an avant-garde personality where every unit oozes a unique and contemporary sense of style. Known for being a perfectionist, architect Guilherme Torres envisioned a loft with a masculine feel that boasts of industrial references.
Studio Guilherme Torres was asked to design the Vox Vitacon, situated in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The vision took shape and what emerged was a 50 sq metres, two-storey apartment, which enthralls you with its vibrant cheerfulness.
When you hear 50 sq metres you wonder how much can actually be incorporated into such a small space. But then you only have to see the Vox Vitacon to know that space is hardly a constraint when you are Guilherme Torres. The apartment mirrors contemporary, experimental and innovative design within every detail of the space.
Remember Christopher Nolan’s movie ‘Inception’? A dream within a dream, that’s within another dream, and another dream – the everlasting conundrum.
At first the Vox Vitacon apartment would probably appear like something out of Inception. Almost every feature the apartment boasts of is incognito – either hidden or disguised to appear different.
At the entrance, a cabinet with a steel roll-up door hides the kitchen appliances from view. The mechanism for rolling the door has been integrated into the automation system, designed to assimilate the window blinds and lighting of the apartment. The washer-dryer on the terrace has also been disguised similarly with the help of strategically designed and arranged furniture.
The polymer-cement textured coating used on the walls and the hard wood flooring, provide a calming background that allows the subtlety of the retro and timeless pieces of furniture to stand out. Guilherme Torres’ contemporary style is mirrored in these textures, a method that mixes finishing plaster with cement, lending a modern yet earthy air.
The illumination, a design of visible ducts, was created in-house at Studio GT. Chromatic patterns are often used in his designs; in the Vox Vitacon apartment space, the contemporary plan has several colour accents in different hues of reds, oranges and blues (on reflective surfaces). And also giving the apartment a totally funky touch are the electrical wiring systems that are exposed throughout the apartment.
The Brazilian architect expresses himself not only through his present-day design language but also with dashes of pop!
In order to increase the headroom under the mezzanine, Torres employed another smart trick – mirrors cover the entire ceiling. Cleopatra would probably go green with envy right now!
The living room is made cosy with an inviting sofa-bed, and a bathroom with a shower. In this way, the owner living on the mezzanine has complete privacy, when a guest comes over. The bathroom of the mezzanine gives an illusion of infinity. Combined with a glassed closet that eliminates visual barriers, there is plenty of space for natural light to infiltrate.
When asked about how he tries to achieve a balance between the prevalent rigorous architecture and his own individualistic design and aesthetic sensibilities, architect Guilherme Torres said, “I normally begin by conceiving the blueprint as two separate elements. The first one is the interior architecture, or what we call “the box”. The second is its decoration, which is done by adding layers; with designer and vintage pieces and of course some amount of humour.”
So how does one’s creative process work when space is a constraint? How does experimental and contemporary design come together in a place like the Vitacon? Leaning mainly towards his intuition, Guilherme Torres says, “I do believe there are no rules to my creative process. I first create a vision, a concept and then I go after it. That is my secret!”
Through his work, Torres virtually proves that although this is the 21st century, technology is not always the only answer to overcome space constraints. The answers are always in front of us. We don’t really need a magnifying glass to see it. Look around you. What captures your attention? Which is the part of your house which gives you maximum peace? What colour is a complete foil to your personality? Make your home an extension of you and you will find happiness resonating all around you. It’s all about innovation through reinvention.
Text By Priyanka S. Menon Photographs Studio Guilherme Torres