Meeting with Veronica Molina, Brazilian architect, at the origin of the renovation of the contemporary apartment Garrido! Or how to rhyme modern design and architectural authenticity…
A woman’s work
Brazilian architect, Verônica Molina, headed the Estúdio Penha architectural firm alongside Victor Penha for six years. The latter leaves the company in 2022. Now alone, Vérônica perpetuates her vocation of metamorphosis of a contemporary apartment. She revisits the name of her company by drawing inspiration from her Colombian origins. His choice falls on Memola. A derivation of the term “mola” which refers in particular to an adaptable hinge. Used by women in Colombia and Panama, this artisanal technique relies on different layers of colored fabric. An ancestral tradition carried out for special occasions such as the birth of a child, a wedding or community celebrations. Beyond this primary meaning, Memola also means “I love you” in Spanish.
Objectives of the renovation of the contemporary apartment Garrido
This contemporary apartment, located in the western region of Sao Paulo, has been completely renovated. It is the Brazilian studio Memola Estúdio, accompanied by the architect Vitor Penha who took charge of the transformation. The balance between natural and industrial materials was a key factor in the project. The main objectives were to create a new connection in all the rooms, to enhance the owners’ collection of works of art, to widen the contact with the surrounding nature and to promote a new dynamic in the space.
A renovation halfway between rusticity and modernity
To contrast with the wooden floors, Memola Estùdio removed the walls and parts of the ceiling. He stripped back finishes to expose the building’s concrete structure, piping and ductwork. The idea was to contrast the rusticity of natural materials, such as slate and wood floors and hardwood furniture, with elements that evoke the owners’ cosmopolitan personality. Thus, bare concrete celebrates the industrial style. In order to highlight works of art and newly acquired pieces.
Careful work has combined the new furniture designs with the pieces already present in this contemporary apartment. Special mention for the canapés by Jorge Zalszupin, Sérgio Rodrigues and the Mole Poltrona. Thus, new and old share the neutral tone of the finishes. Moreover, the upholstery of the existing furniture has been renovated. The seats fit perfectly into the new color palette, inspired by autumnal tones.
An apartment turned towards others
The renovation of the kitchen promotes the experience of sharing. The room is enlarged by the incorporation of a pantry with a custom-made island. The wooden top is to be used as a table. The slate floors complement the rustic furniture. Likewise, the industrial nature of the uniquely designed cabinet is inspired by the drugstore counters of yesteryear.
The central position of the living space was reinforced by the elimination of a wall that blocked the view. Result ? Greater fluidity and visual amplitude. The more ad hoc nature of the interventions in the bedrooms and bathrooms is based on the replacement of elements, such as the doors of the cupboards or the change of the flooring and walls.
The article Architecture: The successful renovation of the contemporary apartment Garrido. first appeared on Home and Garden magazine.