Swiss architecture firm Herzog & De Meuron realized their first project in Brazil, the Arena de Morro, in the Northeastern capital of Natal in the state of Rio Grande do Norte; a permeable and fully adaptable gymnasium in the low-income community of Mãe Luiza, the building utilizes a large single roof composed in a louvered structure that allows the income of light while preventing rainwater. Introducing a new scale to the area, the main space of the Arena do Morro seats 420 people, and can comport sport games, concerts, events, etc. as it also features multipurpose rooms for classes, changing areas and a terrace overlooking the ocean. Built in replacement of a bare cement filed (with no walls nor ceiling) in the same location, the Arena do Morro stands as a functional symbol for the physical and social activity of the community.
The current issue of Brazilian home and garden magazine Casa & Jardim features an interview with entrepreneur and designer Etel Carmona, principal at Etel Inteiores, whose passion for wood and heritage of Brazilian furniture design have established her as a precursor in sustainable wood production and, since the 1990’s, singlehandedly responsible for the revival and dissemination of Brazilian modern design. Reissuing furniture lines by masters of Brazilian modern design – Oscar Niemeyer, Jorge Zalszupin, Sergio Rodrigues, Gregori Warchavchic, as well as new designs by contemporary designers Claudia Moreira Salles, Carlos Motta, Isay Weinfeld and Arthur Casas, to name a few, Carmona has been involved with the FSC (Forest Steward Council) initiative since its inception, and has established an atelier in the Amazon region with local laborers, to experiment with new woods and their sustainability. Carmona’s commitment to new solutions for harvesting woods doesn’t stop there, since 2009 she has partnered with Dario Guarita Neto and Roberto Waack to start the firm Amata, specialized in controlled forestation and low impact wood production.
Brazilian designer Zanini de Zanine has just been named Designer of the Year 2015 by Maison & Objets Americas. Born in 1978, Zanini is the son of seminal architect and designer José Zanini Caldas, who worked with Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, learning and observing first hand the carpentry and design of his father. Zanini also trained with Sergio Rodrigues in the late 1990’s, and completed his industrial design degree, from the Puc-Rio University, in 2002. Over the years his furniture has gone on to be exhibited at major shows in Milan, London, Brussels and Los Angeles. The Museu Oscar Niemeyer and Mercado Moderno in Brazil have recently featured a 10-year retrospective of his work, as Zanini continues to win numerous international awards, and featured on the . Zanini recently has also organized exhibits focusing on modern design for Berlin’s Zeitlos Gallery and Lisbon’s Museum of Fashion and Design and had a solo exhibition at ESPASSO, NY, in the fall of 2013, where he showcased both industrialized pieces, such as his Moeda armchair, and hand-crafted solid wood limited editions, as well as launching the Espasso armchair, designed and sold exclusively at ESPASSO.
Zanini de Zanine was announced as the first Designer of the Year for the inaugural Maison & Objet Americas, launching in Miami Beach in May 2015. As Michael Reynold’s shares with Wallpaper* magazine his photo diary of Design Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach 2014, amid his selections is the Vazada armchair, by Zanini de Zanine, shown at the exhibition Em Trânsito at The Shore Club, organized by ESPASSO. Check out Reynold’s entire photo diary here.
In February 2014 Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld won the architecture competition for the site around the Eislaufverein (ice-skating association) in Vienna, Austria, and became the subject of an animated discussion. Following the announcement of the competition Architekturzentrum Wien will present the work of the prize-winner to the public with the exhibition A to Z. The World of Isay Weinfeld. The exhibition illustrates Weinfeld’s impressive and dynamic practice, that considers every aspect and detail of his projects, be it a doorbell, door handle or the edifice itself, with the same attention. “I always try to design everything in my profession: if I design a house, I design the interiors, the bell, everything. I see architecture as a whole thing, as if I was an art director. The idea expresses my wish to design from the beginning of life to the end.” Continue reading
Carlos Motta‘s São Paulo atelier is located in the lively São Paulo neighborhood of Vila Madalena, a trendy center where many bars, restaurants and shops open and close, reflecting the dynamism of the city. This was not the case 30 years ago when Motta first moved to the area, then desolate and industrial, to open his furniture atelier. This week’s GNT Fashion interviews Motta about his atelier in Vila Madalena and his sustainable design production, which utilizes reclaimed woods to creates most of his unique furniture. “I don’t need to cut down a tree. They are either reclaimed or FSC-Certified (Forest Stewardship Council). A world forest council; they oversee that the manner in which wood is taken from nature, for our use, is in the most correct way.” Check out video here.
On view through May, 2015 is the exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, at MoMA, NY, curated by Portuguese architect Pedro Gadanho. The exhibition foresees social and economical concerns of urban centers, challenged by overpopulation, scarcity of resources and the inequality of current urban development. “In 2030, the world’s population will be a staggering eight billion people. Of these, two-thirds will live in cities. Most will be poor. With limited resources, this uneven growth will be one of the greatest challenges faced by societies across the globe. Over the next years, city authorities, urban planners and designers, economists, and many others will have to join forces to avoid major social and economic catastrophes, working together to ensure these expanding megacities will remain habitable. To engage this international debate, Uneven Growth brings together six interdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners to examine new architectural possibilities for six global metropolises: Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro.”
Jorge Zalszupin‘s classic JZ tea trolley, originally designed in the 1950’s, was included in this month’s issue of House & Garden UK on their feature Party Carts. The JZ tea trolley re-edition is made from native Brazilian Imbuia wood and steel, hand-crafted at Etel Interiores in São Paulo. The JZ combines modernist lines with ludic elements, exemplary of mid-century Brazilian design.
Images of the lively opening of ESPASSO’s Em Trânsito exhibition, co-hosted by Wallpaper* and The Shore Club.