Coven Store / Marcelo Alvarenga

Southeast night view; entrance on left © Leonardo Finotti
Southeast night view; entrance on left ©

Another fresh piece of brazilian architecture thanks to photographer Leonardo Finotti. The store was designed by Marcelo Alvarenga for Coven, a Brazilian brand of knitwear.

The store is based on a refurbishment of an existing 2-story house, wrapped around by a metallic mesh. As you can see on the below photos, the interiors have good lighting, despite the almost hermetic facade.

More photos by Leonardo Finotti and architect’s description after the break:

The store is located in Lourdes, a traditional district in Belo Horizonte, where the finest garment and design stores have concentrated in recent years and occupy converted old buildings.

Night view of the east facade with display © Leonardo Finotti
Night view of the east facade with display © Leonardo Finotti
Southeast night view; entrance on left © Leonardo Finotti
Southeast night view; entrance on left © Leonardo Finotti

And this was the case of Coven store. Originally it was a two-storey house, with a wide concrete ledge. The ledge allowed for the construction of a metallic mesh, overlying the existing brickwork.

Front door on the left; steel estructure detail on the right © Leonardo Finotti
Front door on the left; steel estructure detail on the right © Leonardo Finotti
Steel grid detail © Leonardo Finotti
Steel grid detail © Leonardo Finotti

The idea of a mesh overlapping the building came from the clothes themselves. The grid in the façade suggests the idea of woven thread, the raw material of knitwear, superposing a colorful wall that can be repainted every season.

In the interior, the whole space was remodeled. All of interior walls were suppressed, except the stair – an old and beautiful wood work -, and the walls around it, covered with mirror.

Detail of the show room © Leonardo Finotti
Detail of the show room © Leonardo Finotti
Interior view from the entrance © Leonardo Finotti
Interior view from the entrance © Leonardo Finotti
Square lights projected from the steel structure on the facade © Leonardo Finotti
Square lights projected from the steel structure on the facade © Leonardo Finotti
Linear bench above the cord instalation © Leonardo Finotti
Linear bench above the cord instalation © Leonardo Finotti

On the ground floor, glazed pergola allows for a filter natural light into the store.

The architect invited two artists – Susana Bastos and Ana Vaz -  to create a permanent install in this area, that would suggest a vine, from where garments would spring. In response, they created a white install using thread and left-overs of the materials used in the making of the garments.

High sealing with cord intallation on the left © Leonardo Finotti
High sealing with cord intallation on the left © Leonardo Finotti
Glass table reflecting the clothes © Leonardo Finotti
Glass table reflecting the clothes © Leonardo Finotti
Installation with chairs reflected in the mirror box © Leonardo Finotti
Installation with chairs reflected in the mirror box © Leonardo Finotti

Architect: Marcelo Alvarenga
Collaborator:  Luciana Garcia
Contractor: Construtora CRC
Project: Dec 2007, Jan 2008
Completion: May 2008
Built area: 160 m²

Cite: P, Amber. "Coven Store / Marcelo Alvarenga" 05 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=31158>

15 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    like the interior, but isn’t it too literal to take the idea of knitting using on the facade?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      If you knew what the store was about there might be a subtle ‘realization’ but otherwise the exterior is just a pleasing, interest creating abstraction than it is a literal representation. Even if it had been done in steel cable with fake knots it would still be within reason in that sense.
      OT though the interior doesnt do anything for me as most minimalist boutiques dont. Never understood the appeal of an uninviting sales environment.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Clever screen – I didn’t expect it to have such dimensional depth either – which I think actually makes it better, but will also make it a devil to keep free of rust. It also opens up many opportunities for lighting/color displays on the actual outside envelope, besides the blue it is right now.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    PARABÉNS, MA!
    simplesmente fantástica….
    mais que chic…é um verdadeiro chiqueiro!
    agora a sério: projecto mt mt bom!
    abraço

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