IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners
Dec 10, 2012

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IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_01 corpspacelargeBest.jpg corporate space large: best of category

Project JWT
Where Bogota, Colombia
Designer Arquitectura e Interiores

Arquitectura e Interiores applied a custom approach to the JWT offices in Bogota, Colombia—from the design process to the finishes. Just past the entry, a large red staircase punches through natural finishes like stone flooring, bamboo walls, and blonde colored pine while providing access to floors above. Public areas are vibrantly accented whereas company work areas feature softer tones of blue and gray. In this way, color is also used as a wayfinding tool to identify space use.

Materials and finishes were selected for their durability. Seating is upholstered in textured leather; walls are lined in brick that will age beautifully over time; carpet tiles trap dirt and can be updated and replaced as needed; and lighting is made from glass for easy maintenance. The floor plan is configured for functionality that maximizes square footage. Open meeting spaces define circulation, while staff programs such as office supply areas, café counters, and boardrooms are cozier for more efficiency in the company’s daily activities.

The jury selected the project for its innovative use of materials, blend of individual and collaborative spaces, and sophisticated color palette. “I loved the bold use of materiality and refreshing use of color in this project,” says Burdi. “The stair also acts as a striking focal point.” —Emily Hooper

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_02 corpspacesmallBest.jpg corporate space small: best of category

Project Studio SC
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer Studio MK27

A food photography studio in Brazil reflects the regional architectural style with Japanese influences, born from the synthesis of collaborative brainstorming efforts of the firm’s team members. Green space was conceived for the interior esplanade, which segues into studio space via expansive sliding metal doors. Two floors are defined by wooden volumes that extend through both levels and are connected by a concrete skywalk. On the ground floor, the reception area gives way to workspaces for image treatment in one volume, while the other holds storerooms and a technical kitchen where the food is prepared for the photo shoots.

The floor above contains event space with a large, open kitchen offering clear views of food preparation; dishes are served from the chefs’ hands to the open butcher block countertops. Clear trajectories provide instant orientation, whether or not the technical spaces are occupied to identify their use. —Emily Hooper 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_03 CultInstBest.jpg cultural/institutional/educational: best of category

Project Museo Memoria y Tolerencia
Where Mexico City
Designer Arditti + RDT Arquitectos

The Museum of Memory and Tolerance’s architectural program—including an auditorium, educational center, library, administrative offices, and a cafeteria—supports the museum’s mission to promote tolerance through retelling true stories of genocide provoked by racial discrimination. The seven-level structure occupies a colonnade along the Plaza Juarez Square in Mexico City. Visitors enter a naturally lit atrium finished in natural
materials. Permanent exhibits of Memory and Tolerance are housed in an L-shaped concrete mass. A wooden box houses the auditorium, atop which sits temporary exhibition space that’s visible through a transparent enclosure. Granite conceals administrative space and connects to a public library via a glazed ramp overlooking the plaza. Superimposed balconies provide various perspectives of open interior space. The broad selection of finish materials is an intended metaphor for contrasting experiences internally, as well as throughout the adjacent city. —Emily Hooper
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_04 HotelBest.jpg BEST OF COMPETITION

hotels: best of category

Project Fazenda Boa Vista/Hotel Fasano
Where Porto Feliz, Brazil
Designer Isay Weinfeld

Situated in São Paulo’s countryside, this Eden of a resort boasts the tranquility of the wooded and lake-punctuated landscape it’s surrounded by—and a clean, modernist interior. Every space, including the public zones such as the reception and restaurant, features an intimate, residential ambience thanks to an abundance of warm woods with a palette of natural stone, brick, and stucco, as well as cozy furnishings. The lobby, for instance, sports a wood-beamed ceiling, area rugs, seating and tables in the Midcentury-modern vernacular, low bookcases, floor lamps, and retro fireplaces, all lending a living room feel. “There’s a very strong dialogue between architecture and interior design,” says Velez.

Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property flood the spaces with natural light and views, while the deluxe guest rooms and suites offer private, framed views from box-shaped terraces that are wood-clad on the interior and concrete-surfaced on the exterior. —Sheila Kim

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_05 ResidencesBest.jpg residences: best of category

Project V4 House
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer Studio MK27

The single-story V4 House is nestled in a below-grade site, appearing as if it’s sunken into the earth when viewed from the street. To maximize natural light indoors, full-height glass is used for some of the exterior walls, including the retractable glass panels on either side of the living room that look out and open onto the front garden and backyard. Retaining walls hold back the earth as well as delineate the property.

Burdi comments that there’s a “beautifully choreographed connection between interior and exterior space.” The living room’s deep overhangs prevent heat gain from direct sunlight, but also afford privacy from prying eyes on the street level. The architects wrapped a volume in wooden latticework to contain the bedrooms and other private zones. A deck sits atop the house’s roof, acting as an outdoor living and entertaining spot.

Rounding out the overall design is a selection of classically modern Hans Wegner furniture, mixed in with some contemporary pieces. Santa-Cruz adds, “The placement of furniture is architectural, and the furniture is an integral part of the design. Just gorgeous, intellectual, and curated, and yet very personal.” —Sheila Kim

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_06 restaurantBest.jpg restaurants: best of category

Project Cumaru Restaurant
Where Santiago, Chile
Designer Gonzalo Mardones Arquitecto

The establishment’s name actually comes from the large quantity of cumaru timber (a Brazilian teak) that the owners came into possession of and that the architect prominently incorporated into the project. The interior and exterior skins—including most ceilings, floors, and decking—are thus clad in the wood, save for a perforated steel ceiling that helps improve acoustics amid all that wood surfacing. A wood-grid balustrade semi-screens off the upper level dining area from the staircase, and similarly, wood louvers just outside the dining room windows form and screen off a perimeter walkway.

Creating a warm glow within the interiors is ambient lighting that ranges from pendants to ceiling spots that, scattered throughout above the perforated ceiling, resemble a starlit sky. “The wood box is not a new design idea, but the designer’s use of lighting as the key feature is elegantly handled,” says Santa-Cruz. “The use of decorative pendants is carefully edited as to become sculptures in the space and not just decoration.” —Sheila Kim 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_07 retailBest.jpg retail: best of category

Project Decameron
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer Studio MK27

Studio MK27 found yet another appealing way to incorporate shipping containers in an architectural project. Situated on a rented lot, the Decameron furniture showroom needed to be temporal, and that meant easy and quick construction, as well as cost-efficient. The architects thus conceived a metal hangar-like warehouse through which a volume of shipping containers cuts perpendicularly. A total of six containers were used, stacked to form two long tunnel-like floors of showroom space, and painted in a bright palette of fuchsia, yellow, lime green, sky blue, orange, and lavender. “This project puts a smile on my face,” says Burdi. It presents a “very smart solution: clever use of repurposed shipping containers.”

Studio MK27 also applied elements of mystery and openness to pique curiosity. The hangar doors, for instance, can be opened partially or fully to reveal a courtyard in the rear and the color spectrum of the containers; when closed, the doors still offer glimpses of color and silhouettes through translucent polycarbonate. Meanwhile, shutter-evoking doors of the street-facing containers open fully to expose full-height glass end caps. The simple yet creative approaches also helped earn the project a World Architecture Festival award. —Sheila Kim 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_08 corpspacelargeHM.jpg corporate space large: honorable mention

Project Santillana Corporate
Where Mexico City
Designer SPACE

To facilitate a culture change in a new office, SPACE developed a design concept around playful compartmentalization and imaginative repurposing of materials. Eleven thousand books form the ceiling and wall of Santillana Corporate’s reception area. A Corian counter, seating, and flooring are rendered in soft shades of gray, against which the colorful spines pop. Within workspaces, individual brands are identified by splashes of color on columns, ceilings, and furnishings, much like chapters of a story. Natural light reaches deep into the floor plate to illuminate vibrant purples, blues, greens, and yellows. —Emily Hooper 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_09 corpspacelargeHMcorporativo.jpg corporate space large: honorable mention

Project Corporativo CST
Where  Mexico City
Designer GGAD

In western Mexico City, this Mexican food company’s offices occupy 19,590 square feet across
one floor. Lighting has a prominent role in the design of  Corporativo CST’s workplace. Private offices, meeting rooms, and common areas receive equal amounts of natural light. To reduce power consumption, lighting fixtures employ LED bulbs, and a conservative energy approach extends to heating and cooling strategies. Soffits are built out at the highest points possible to maintain unobstructed sight lines. Natural finishes in wood and marble, combined with contemporary textiles, produce a calming environment for maximum comfort and workplace efficiency. —Emily Hooper 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_10 BPGM_corpspacesmallHM.jpg corporate space small: honorable mention

Project BPGM Law Firm
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer FGMF Arquitetos

Form is defined by function for maximum efficiency at the BPGM law firm. The program is divided between two floors: The ground floor is designated for larger operations while the second floor holds a smaller footprint for meeting rooms and administrative areas. Organized in a radial fashion, every meeting space features natural illumination and views of the outdoors. In the center, a large library defines the flow to separate rooms and serves as a focal point for visitors. Suspended over a flagstone base, the library is organized as a small labyrinth with unusual angles, as well as opened and closed passageways. —Emily Hooper 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_11 corpspacesmallHM.jpg corporate space small: honorable mention

Project Roy Azar Architects Studio
Where Mexico City
Designer Roy Azar Architects

For the design of his own studio, Roy Azar drew on residential elements akin to those encountered in a swank city loft. An open plan creates an airy feel and permits ample sunlight, while deep-hued wood floors imbue a warm feel. Oversized pendants illuminate marble-topped tables that function as workstations, evoking imagery of an upscale kitchen island. Building on that concept, a sleek meeting table with mismatched chairs resembles a dining area, complete with a modern chandelier hanging above. In the principal’s office, Azar’s own objects and art collection add a personal and homey touch to a sitting area, powder room, and shelves that flank a fireplace. “Eclecticism of this project makes it visually interesting, and adds a sense of discovery within the space,” says Burdi. —Sheila Kim

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_12 CultInstHM.jpg cultural/institutional/educational: honorable mention

Project Sustainable Development Wing: Economy, Society, and Nature
Where Mexico City
Designer Entasis Architects

In an effort to expand its interactive experience, the Museo Interactivo de Economía (MIDE), housed within a restored Baroque-style building, opened its new Sustainable Development Wing: Economy, Society, and Nature. Cold rolled ¼-inch-thick steel panels in the new exhibit form a backdrop for display elements, fold down to become part of the floor, and then climb back up to support the monitor displays. LEDs within the surface folds supplement natural light. “I think this project works well from the museum experience,” says Santa-Cruz. “Environmental graphics and exhibits are part of the designers’ main ideas.” —Emily Hooper 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_13 healthcareHM.jpg healthcare: honorable mention

Project Hospital Universitario San Vicente de Paul (HUSVP)
Where Municipo de Rio Negro, Colombia
Designer Perkins+Will

The 95-year-old medical institution outside Medellín, Colombia wanted a new space based on the latest technological advances available in the U.S. The result is the largest hospital in the country. A circular public lobby connects all functions of the hospital as well as a rooftop helipad. Patient rooms are designed to be user friendly and accommodating of families for effective recoveries, as well as efficient for staff. Three clinic buildings are identified by color. A commitment to sustainability is reflected in the use of local materials, including local brick, marble mined within the country, and wooden veneers from nearby forests. —Emily Hooper   

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_14 HotelsHM.jpg hotels: honorable mention

Project The Singular Patagonia
Where Puerto Bories, Chilean Patagonia
Designer Enrique Concha & Co.

Declared a national monument by the Chilean government, the century-old Puerto Bories Meat Packing Plant in Patagonia was a four-building complex that, in order to be converted into a luxury resort, first required restoration. The design team of the Singular Patagonia thus repaired and restored the original structures, and transformed them into a restaurant, bar, and a museum that displays preserved machinery and artifacts from when the plant was in use.

The architects then took design cues from the Post Victorian Industrial architecture of the complex and artfully applied those principles to a new construction, adjacent to the historic buildings, that houses guest accommodations. The distressed-wood, metalwork, and glass palette reproduce industrial-era character for the new building, while the well-appointed rooms within offer views out to the picturesque shoreline and fjord. “The interior design is beautiful and strong, an old-world feel that is done with contemporary and timeless detailing,” says Santa-Cruz. —Sheila Kim

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_15 HotelsHMDowntown.jpg hotels: honorable mention

Project Downtown
Where Mexico City
Designer CheremSerrano/Cherem Arquitectos and Paul Roco

A Grupo Habita property and a member of the Design Hotels collection, Downtown presents an edgy industrial aesthetic within a 17th-century palace of Mexican vice regal style. In renovating the site, the design team preserved and restored original details such as grey volcanic walls, an arcade of ornate columns that opens onto a terrace, and a grand staircase.

To complement the restoration work, the designers paired down the 17 guest rooms and suites with neutral tones and minimalist furnishings, but injected local culture via details such as red brick lattice screens in the rooms. “Boutique hotels can be cliché,” says Santa-Cruz. “But this hotel is exquisite and takes local materials and imagery into a sophisticated result. Old and new don’t always look this good.” —Sheila Kim 
IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_16 residenceHM.jpg residences: honorable mention

Project Geneses House
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer Isay Weinfeld

In the same vein as Richard Neutra, Isay Weinfeld channels modernism with clean lines and planes combined with a high level of transparency that gives way to views of the city of São Paulo. The main floor’s glass walls open fully to the house’s verandas, creating a physical connection to the verdant landscape that surrounds the structure.

It’s a “seamless transition from interior space to exterior garden,” says Velez. While a minimalist backdrop could be perceived as cold and uninviting, the interiors of this project counter that notion with the warmth of wood in furnishings, plank ceilings, and floors. —Sheila Kim

Photography courtesy IIDA

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_17 residencHMCuboHouse.jpg  residences: honorable mention

Project Cubo House
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer Studio MK27

A concrete, cubic volume, Casa Cubo appears to almost float when the ground floor’s perforated-metal panel walls open to reveal an indoor-outdoor living space. The two floors above contain bedrooms, a home office, and a television room, all of which have apertures that utilize the same retractable metal panel system. A second layer of sliding glass walls can be closed as a safety measure and protection against the elements when needed. These openings allow the homeowners to control light levels and ventilation.
Tiled floors and Midcentury-modern furniture perfectly complement the modernist architecture. “I wonder what came first: the architectural idea or the interior spaces that then created an architectural volume,” says Santa-Cruz. “It envelops you with sensuality and nature. Isn’t that what Brazil is all about?” —Sheila Kim

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_18 restaurantHM.jpg restaurants: honorable mention

Project A | W Celebration
Where São Paulo, Brazil
Designer Athié | Wohnrath

As the biggest architecture and interior design show in Latin America, Casa Cor takes place
annually in several cities, and exhibitors transform designated spaces into elaborate exhibits. For the 2011 installment in São Paulo, Athié | Wohnrath created the A | W Celebration Lounge as an entertainment and nightlife setting. The lounge featured a black metallic skin on the exterior with a gold-hued bar inside that was visible to passersby, drawing them in. The interior boasted LED bulbs in the ceiling that created the sensation of staring up on a starry night. A massive video wall projected a faux aquarium—a soothing counterpoint to the energy typically experienced in clubs. Sleek modern sectionals, chairs, and tables lent comfort—but also a level of sophistication—to the interior. “I’m taken by the sexy-retro sensibility of this environment,” says Burdi. —Sheila Kim

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_19 RetailHM.jpg retail: honorable mention

Project Munich Chile Flagship
Where Santiago, Chile
Designer Dear Design

Composed of a white backdrop and a spare installation, this boutique for fashion- and sport-footwear brand Munich takes design cues from stadiums. Its main event is an arena-shaped metal structure that stands off from the walls to appear as a freestanding volume. Voids of the fractal latticework, which is formed by a series of pointed arches, display the merchandise on hidden supports, while the intersecting points mimic the brand’s “X” logo. As the only colorful objects in the space, the shoes are truly highlighted within this stark setting. “A very simple concept that marries brand, style, and the power of image,” says Santa-Cruz. —Sheila Kim

Photography courtesy IIDA

IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Award Winners_20 SpaHM.jpg spas/fitness/wellness centers:
honorable mention

Project Melange World Spa
Where Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Designer Estudio Pi

The “world” in the spa’s name alludes to the special treatment rooms that are each inspired by a different locale’s spa culture and practices. In addition to these themed zones, Estudio Pi was responsible for creating a cohesive design that could tie in special treatment rooms with all other rooms and common spaces. The design team thus employed Zen-like and biophilic elements such as strategic lighting, soft and soothing hues, and a palette of wood, river rock and other natural stones, plus branch-embedded resin panels. “The interior design reflects the required calmness that a spa should have,” says Santa-Cruz. “It also handles well the spatial sequence of the different program functions well through the use of rich materials and interior architectural forms, but it’s clearly developed without being kitschy or trendy.” —Sheila Kim

Photography courtesy IIDA