São Paulo boutique apartment building draws inspiration from warm Brazilian modernism

Studio MK27’s Ourânia building in São Paulo takes boutique urban housing to the next level

This boutique apartment building in São Paulo, located on the edge of the bohemian neighborhood of Vila Madalena, is the latest urban housing program from Idea! Zarvos – the Brazilian developer known for his architectural and savvy approach to design. Ourânia, containing just eight apartments in a relatively compact nine-story building, is the brainchild of Marcio Kogan and his colleagues at Studio MK27 for this client, and offers contemporary living wrapped in warm, textured minimalist architecture.

A combination of quality materials, well-proportioned volumes and flexibility was essential to offer the Ourânia living experience, a domestic space worthy of the 21st century. The architects explain: “Its modular structure, an orthogonal grid of concrete pillars and beams, results in completely flexible plans, where each apartment owner could define their layout. The 20 columns are rhythmically positioned within the perimeter of the 48 x 11m plan and, together with a central core that houses the stairs and lifts, structure the building – leaving generous spans to be arranged as desired.

Located high up, the Ourânia site offers long views of a nearby green valley, the cityscape and local sunsets. The architects took advantage of this by opening large bay windows and setting up terraces so that the inhabitants could soak up the striking context, both urban and natural, from their living room.

All internal spaces face one of the building’s four facades, allowing light and air to penetrate everywhere, while circulation space and services are placed in the center of the floor plan. The building’s design was led by Kogan and Suzana Glogowski, and the interiors by Diana Radomysler and Pedro Ribeiro. The studio’s Rodrigo Oliveira was responsible for the landscape design.

Inside, Kogan’s team used the studio’s signature approach, blending contemporary design with warm, natural materials, rich textures, and elements inspired by Brazilian modernism and Japanese architecture. “It embraces rationality, proportion and simplicity,” add the architects. “Sunlight plays an important role. Wooden tiles warm the lobby, gym, and main hallways, while in the spa, golden tiles embrace the pool and sauna.

At the same time, slatted panels, pergolas and awnings enhance this interplay between transparency and opacity, shadow and light. ? Each space on the grid is an invitation for a sensory experience, ? the architecture team concludes. §