Text description provided by the architects. With the demand to design a fragrance store by Mels Brushes, the office of Estúdio Mineral, together with Plante Comigo, proposes the LOJA ESSÊNCIA. To create the concept of the project, a path was taken to articulate and to develop an understanding of the word essence, which comes from the perfumery sector, but also is often used in an architectural context.
By integrating the foundations of contemporary architecture – the natural and the artificial - the whole project highlights their duality, while also maintaining their distinct and contrasting coexistence. On one hand, natural ceramics are used to emphasize organic characteristics, beckoning towards earth, raw brick and the powerful craft work of pottery throwing. Furthermore, the ceramics’ landscaping emphasizes their natural aspect even further. On the other hand, materials from industrialization processes with strong technological appeal are employed. For instance, Corian is used on the counter tops, the shelves consist of metal plates and the lighting itself is in white finish. The use of the white color, a symbol for purity and perfection, unifies all materials used. Therefore, Mels Brushes products are set on a white background, being highlighted in this environment by the neutral basis of the color.
Contrarily, the ceramic panel installed on the walls is composed of ceramic tiles and skirting, which usually have trim at their base for a better finishing with the tile ceramic floor. However, in this store, the application of the ceramic skirting is transformed into wall covering, configuring a panel that brings movement and dynamics into the space. For the finishing of the countertops, the traditional ceramic hollow elements, known as cobogós, were applied. Commonly used to filter sunlight and allow natural ventilation, we sought to reinterpret its original function and instead employed it as a lighting element, gently lightening the floor in order to guide the visitor.
The proposed landscaping moves away from common sense as it uses plants as a complement to the space experience. Thus, the variation of the plant species marks the relationship between rustic and delicate. Different species of Tillandsias were adopted in the composition, as it is a type of aerial plant that brings lightness, versatility and great delicacy. The species of the genus Euphorbia, from the succulent family, gives an eccentric tone with its fleshy leaves. As a final touch, a focal point is created with a leafless mango-jasmine plant covered with moss and lichen on its stem.