One striking manifestation of Felipe Hess' design prowess is found in the heart of São Paulo's Jardins neighborhood, within a 210 sqm apartment nestled in a building nearly six decades old. The transformation of this space exemplifies Felipe Hess Arquitetos' ability to reimagine environments, marrying functionality with aesthetic appeal.
Felipe Hess Arquitetos, under the visionary leadership of Felipe Hess, stands as a Brazilian design studio that transcends conventional boundaries, weaving a narrative of innovation and individuality. Since its inception in 2012, the studio has embraced a diverse spectrum of projects, from the meticulous crafting of furniture to the comprehensive design of entire buildings. Central to their philosophy is an unwavering commitment to collaboration, with a belief that each project benefits from a bespoke approach, involving close partnerships with clients, furniture producers, and fellow designers.
Choosing wood provides warmth and continuity
One of their recent projects, an apartment in São Paulo, underwent a simplification, marked by the removal of one of the three bedrooms and the servant's quarters. The living room and kitchen spaces were seamlessly merged, paving the way for a more contemporary and fluid layout. The pièce de résistance, however, lies in the kitchen – a space where the pleasure of preparing food converges with the artistry of design. The kitchen countertop emerges as a central protagonist, defined by sheets of oak and stainless-steel elements. This sprawling 7-meter long countertop transcends its utilitarian role, transforming into a communal dining table with seating for 10. The fusion of materials – natural wood and stainless steel – reflects a deliberate choice rooted in durability and aesthetic harmony. Wood, a recurring element throughout the apartment, imparts warmth and continuity, while stainless steel, chosen for its resilience, graces the cooking surface. The kitchen's significance extends beyond its functional aspect. It is a space designed with a social character, seamlessly integrated with the living room to foster connectivity during culinary endeavors and gatherings. The minimalist tone is preserved by artfully camouflaging the laundry room, wine cellar, and bar around the kitchen, maintaining a sense of spatial simplicity. In the intimate area of the apartment, three suites offer sanctuaries of comfort, with the master suite standing out for its thoughtful inclusion of a bedroom, bathroom, closet, and office – a testament to the holistic approach employed by Felipe Hess Arquitetos. When queried about the inspiration behind the kitchen and the island table, the designers revealed that it was a reflection of the client's lifestyle. The client, whose main hobby is cooking for family and friends, inspired the creation of a space where culinary artistry converges with social engagement. The 7-meter long island table, composed of stainless steel and natural wood, was a conscious choice to enhance durability, maintain aesthetic cohesion, and cater to the daily rigors of the kitchen. The choice of materials is not arbitrary. Wood, already prevalent in the apartment, is complemented by the pristine aesthetic of stainless steel, creating a harmonious visual narrative. The decision to use two different materials in the island table reflects a keen understanding of both functionality and design continuity. One notable feature is the stainless steel pillar in the middle of the table. In navigating the complexities of pre-existing structures, the designers ingeniously incorporated a pipe that traversed the floors into the island's design. What might have been a structural necessity became a visual focal point, seamlessly integrated into the overall aesthetic, embodying the studio's ethos of embracing existing elements in their designs. In essence, Felipe Hess Arquitetos has not merely designed a living space; they have curated an experience. The Jardins apartment stands as a testament to their ability to transform spaces, merging form and function in a symphony of design. It is a space where culinary artistry and social connection converge, where history meets innovation, and where every element tells a story of thoughtful consideration and intentional design.
Photography by Fran Parente
Text by Elke Aerts