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Spectacular Casa Cubo showcasing contemporary art in Brazil

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Casa Cubo showcases white gallery-like interiors to house the owner’s contemporary art collection, by architect Isay Weinfeld, located in the fashionable Jardins district of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Completed in 2011, the 7,696 square foot (715 square meters) property is the initiative of a couple of art collectors, conceived to house a lodging and support center to artists and the development of the arts, but with all necessary facilities to serve as a home.

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The program was solved within a cubic block, split vertically into three levels and a mezzanine. The service nucleus is located at the front of the ground level, comprising a kitchen, a restroom, a dining room and an entrance hall giving way to the wide room with double-height ceiling and polished concrete floor, intended to host events, exhibitions or even work as a lounge that opens onto the backyard.

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The mezzanine of the lounge, standing on the slab topping the service nucleus on the ground floor, houses the library, which is marked by three strong elements: a shelving unit extending the whole back wall, a strip of fixed glass next to the floor and a spiral staircase covered in wood that leads to the private quarters upstairs. Private quarters consist of 3 bedrooms and a living room thoroughly lit through a floor-to-ceiling opening. The garage and service areas are located in the basement.

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The Antony Gormley sculptures are an art installation suspended from the ceiling. The five life-size nude male figures are cast from lead and fiberglass and hang from the neck ~ the heads seemingly disappearing into the next floor. Created in 1992, Gormley’s work is on show in the specially-designed double-height living room for the first time since the owner’s purchased it.

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A spectacular spiral staircase of Brazilian ironwood is the design centerpiece of this house and gallery.

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Passionate collectors of contemporary art, the owners live in one of Weinfeld’s houses further down the street but plan to use this new building for art and design exhibitions and to hold parties and host artists during events like the São Paolo Biennial. 

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This house has not one but two staircases that appear to float above the floor. The dramatic curving wooden spiral leads up from the mezzanine library to a sitting room and three bedrooms on the top floor. The deep, rich hues of the ironwood are carefully matched and aligned to bring out the grain of the timber. The other angular steel stair is set against one wall of the living room and seems be suspended without any structural support

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 The tall, light-filled living room is the main display space for paintings, sculptures and mid-century design classics including chairs by Alvar Aalto, Pierre Jeanneret and Gio Ponti. The polished concrete floor is covered by a free-form yellow rug designed by Isay Weinfeld.

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The extensive use of glass allows the building to feel intimately connected to the lush garden that surrounds the house. The rich, tropical green of the plants and lily pond outside are a foil to the bright, cool whites of the interior.

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Photos: FG+SG Architectural Photography

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