Architects: SuperLimão Studio + Campana Brothers
Location: Sao Paulo - São Paulo, Brazil
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Maíra Acayaba
From the architect. Now starting as a gallery and showroom, new project have been designed by SuperLimão Studio and Campana Brothers The Firma Casa, a brand belonging do businesswoman Sonia Diniz, was the first to believe in the work of brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, two of Brazilian design’s upcoming names. This partnership is now entering a new phase. Firma Casa has just been submitted to renovation and will be reopened to the public on October 25th with a daring proposal: a mix of multi-brand showroom and art/design gallery, with unique and limited-edition offerings.
The SuperLimão Studio and Campana bros. are responsible for the art conception, landscape architecture and architecture of the new space.
Firma Casa has been a pioneer in introducing and showcasing great national and international stars. Sonia Diniz Bernardini is a businesswoman that values creativity and innovation above all, which are reflected on her brand’s personality.
Firma Casa and the Campana Brothers have long been working together. Sonia was the first entrepreneur to bet on the duo’s talent, starting in 1993, when the company began its operations. She has also given opportunities to many other designers now known in Brazil and the rest of the world.
The 5,660 sqf split between gallery and showroom comprise an area dedicated to international brands such as Zanotta, Cerruti-Baleri, Edra, Corsi and Bemardaud. The portfolio also includes Aurélio Martinez Flores, Nada Se Leva, Flavia Alves de Souza and Thomas Eyck, as well as SuperLimão Studio and the Campana bros.
The unusual landscape architecture design has covered the entire facade with a rebar mesh and snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata), a nod to Brazilian popular culture. Its leafs are used in the rituals of the African-Brazilian religions as a symbol of power. It is believed to have protective and healing properties.
Over six thousand seedlings have been arranged in hanging vases, working as an origami made of aluminum sheets, including an efficient draining system making the water flow from one vase to the next until eventually reaching the ground – a design created by SuperLimão Studio. Landscape designer Maria Helena Cruz took care of handling the plants.
Another of the project’s distinguishing features is the flooring of the external areas, made of Basf’s ElastopaveTM. This special glue can be used to keep several types of material together and, in this case, has been added to gravel. Its first use in Brazil will be at our store, showcasing its draining properties.
Concerns with draining have been central to the project, as the store’s neighborhood is usually affected by flooding caused by heavy rains. The use of such material is also worth points in the Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification – no chemical residues are transmitted to the environment.
The database of minimalist projects from the 1990s has been abandoned, opening up more room for the materials’ colors – iron and concrete, for instance – in compositions with shades of green and gray. The graphical and provocative plant skin envelops the building’s volume. Thus is Firma Casa born.
By avoiding the waste of raw materials and the heavy use of trucks to bring out the rubble, the project has preferred to reuse the sidewalk’s old flooring of Portuguese stones. These have become the foundation of the new flooring – made of ElastopaveTM – as well as the front desk’s counter.
Inside the store, the main idea was flexibility, and therefore the structures were not camouflaged. Electrical and water tubing are clearly apparent. The inner flooring is resistant, allowing for the transit of heavy trucks into the showroom. The space has preferred waterproof paint. The lightning design, created by Antonio Carlos Mingrone, uses a grid below the roof, encompassing all of the store. Dimmers are used to control each individual light spot.