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Merlot Apartment by Clarice Semerene Arquitetura

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The apartment is located in Brasilia, an iconic city of modernism, built in 1960 by architect Oscar Niemeyer. The building has a concrete structure, a functional and clean plan, with typical modernist elements, such as the hollow brick and large window frames, with abundant natural light.

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The apartment had a lot of potential due to its clean structure, with few pillars and the absence of apparent beams, which would give me more freedom to create an open layout. This characteristic matched perfectly with the briefing given by the couple, to highlight the modernist character of the building and create an open plan in which the rooms are visually connected, with lots of natural light and cross ventilation.

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Before the renovation, the 120 m2 apartment had 02 bedrooms and 01 master suite, a closed kitchen and a large laundry room, which was disproportionate to the customers’ needs. The residents’ lifestyle gave me carte blanche for a layout revolution, where the social area is prioritized. In the project, the third bedroom was eliminated and became the dining room. The former second bedroom gave way to the TV room, enclosed by iron and glass doors.

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The residents’ master suite also gains more openness when it integrates with the bathroom – a subtle transparent partition separates the two spaces and keeps them visually connected. The laundry was minimized to meet customers’ needs, which allowed the kitchen to be rearranged, with direct access to ventilation coming from hollow bricks from the façade. Thus, the kitchen was integrated into the social area to host gastronomic moments with friends. At the central area of the apartment is the home office, with direct access to the suite and the social area.

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The key words for this project are visual integration and openness and the challenge was to create this strong connection between the rooms but at the same time allow privacy. The solution that marks the project are partitions and doors in iron and glass, to isolate acoustically but not block the view and natural light of the spaces. Curtains were installed to provide privacy in the couple’s suite. The visual permeability given by the transparency of the glass prevails in the main spaces and contrasts with the wooden volumes that comprise the social bathroom, laundry and kitchen cabinets.

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The long iron bookcase appears as a multifunctional element – it closes the office, keeps the collection of vintage photographic equipment, plants and objects, and gives way to a high counter in the kitchen. This element reinforces the continuity between all spaces and gives the apartment its personality. The predominant color is gray in different tones and textures.

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Architects: Semerene Arquitetura Interior; Area: 1291 ft²; Photographs: Joana França;

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