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Ilana Bessler

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Curtains as Room Dividers: Towards a Fluid and Adaptable Architecture

Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.

How, then, can we design spaces neutral and flexible enough to adapt to the evolving human being, while still accomplishing the needs that each person requires today? An ancient element could help redefine the way we conceive and inhabit space: curtains.

Emperor Qianmen Hotel / asap. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud Ready-made Apartment / azab. Image © Luis Diaz Diaz PURE / Sílvia Rocio + Mariana Póvoa + esse studio. Image © Francisco Nogueira JL Madeira Office / Metro Arquitetos Associados. Image © Ilana Bessler + 48

JL Madeira Office / Metro Arquitetos Associados

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler + 16

Vila Olímpia, Brazil

Ecumenical Center / Carolina Maluhy

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler + 21

São Paulo, Brazil

Zerezes / Tavares Duayer Arquitetura

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler + 20

Centro, Brazil

MALHA / Tavares Duayer Arquitetura

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler + 16

São Cristóvão, Brazil

Refettorio Gastromotiva / METRO Arquitetos Associados

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler + 40

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Architects: METRO Arquitetos Associados
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  425
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016

Bento Noronha Residence / Metro Arquitetos

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler + 28

São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architects: Metro Arquitetos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  438
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015

Ladeira da Barroquinha / Metro Arquitetos Associados

© Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler © Ilana Bessler Before. Image Courtesy of METRO Arquitetos + 33

Salvador, Brazil

Concrete and Glass: Lina Bo Bardi's Easels and a New, Old Way of Displaying Art

Forty-seven years after their first appearance, Lina Bo Bardi's iconic glass easels have returned to the gallery at São Paulo's Museum of Art (MASP), displaying some of the museum's most valuable paintings, spanning from the medieval to the modern, in an exhibition on the second floor of the museum.

Removed from display in 1996, the concrete pillars, wood and glass easels were reviewed by METRO Arquitetos, who became part of MASP's curatorial team -- in charge of exhibition design -- last December. Having carried out various exhibitions this year at the museum - such as Brazilian Art Through the 1900s - METRO Arquitetos decided to end the year by bringing back the easels, in an exhibition similar to the original one conceived by Lina, which almost five decades later, continues to impress with its innovative way of exhibiting art in museums.

We had the opportunity to visit the exhibition montage and speak with architect Martin Corullon about the return of the easels and the process of recovering the space as conceived by Lina for the museum. Read the complete interview below.

© Romullo Baratto © Romullo Baratto © Romullo Baratto © Romullo Baratto + 24