Pascali Semerdjian creates Aurora Apartment to hold “two universes” in Brazil

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Brazilian architecture firm Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos has transformed a São Paulo apartment into a personalized living space that reflects the personalities of its occupants. The Aurora Apartment, located in the Alto de Pinheiros neighborhood, required a complete overhaul to open up the space, incorporate more natural light, and integrate new materials and décor that would align with the owners’ tastes.

During the renovation process, Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos encountered hidden architectural elements that were revealed only after stripping the apartment down to its bare structure. With a clear understanding of the remaining columns and slabs, the studio was able to design a floor plan that efficiently utilized the existing structure while accommodating the clients’ needs.

The architects aimed to infuse every area of the apartment, both public and private, with the family’s personality and unique design elements that would create a harmonious overall aesthetic. The apartment is divided into a large, open social space for hosting business meetings and dinners, and a private area that includes the bedrooms and bathrooms. The studio sought to create two distinct universes within the same apartment: an intimate and cozy space, and a minimalist and social area.

The entryway of the apartment features dark wood paneling that conceals a storage area for keys and shoes. Similar wood panels are incorporated in the corner of the dining room, where a hidden door unveils a bar. A brass container built into a plastered counter serves as a cooler for bottles. The living area showcases stone flooring laid in thin planks that match the pattern of the wooden boards found in the private spaces. The space is furnished with a mix of classic midcentury designs, such as Jean Prouvé dining chairs and Ondine armchairs by Jorge Zalszupin, as well as contemporary pieces like Thin Black side tables by Nendo and a leather chaise by Studiopepe. Additionally, Pascali Semerdjian custom-designed various furniture and lighting pieces for the apartment.

While the main suite is finished with minimal white and wood surfaces, the children’s rooms are more expressive in design. The younger son’s room resembles a small house, with wood paneling covering the walls and pitched on the ceiling. The bed and sofa are raised to create space for a hide-and-seek tunnel underneath. The older daughter’s room features arched white closets. The architects aimed to bring originality to all areas of the apartment, especially the children’s rooms, by incorporating playful and creative design solutions.

The renovation project took place during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, prompting the architects to prioritize the creation of multifunctional spaces to accommodate different needs and provide privacy. The project aimed to strike a balance between shared moments and individual space for the residents, including the couple.

Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos, founded by Domingos Pascali and Sarkis Semerdjian in 2010, has a portfolio of various renovated apartments throughout São Paulo. Their works include a residence with a distinct Brazilian and cosmopolitan flair, as well as a home organized around a semi-circular wooden library.

The stunning photographs of the Aurora Apartment were captured by Fran Parente.

Project credits:

– Project and interiors: Pascali Semerdjian Architects
– Team: Sarkis Semerdjian, Domingos Pascali, Ana Luisa Cunha, Fernando Spnola
– Production: VC Artwork
– Execution: S Macedo Engenharia

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