Sometimes facing challenges can lead to real opportunities, and eventually a signature style is born. Brazilian architecture firm MNMA was commissioned to design a 80m2 outlet which we consider Brutalism inspired for fashion brand Haight in Rio de Janeiro. I am writing this post coming back from a two-days Trend Lecture I have giving in France, and Brutalism used as a creative outlet was one of the many manifestations we discussed. It’s always very uplifting to see how a developed trend gets real an dis being applied on different markets.
Coming back to today’s project and according to MNMA studio, the biggest challenge indeed was the pillar found literally in the middle of the considerable space. That was the premise of the project, to “embrace” the same volume with a cube made of glass superimposed on a new slab, expanding the possibilities of space. By cladding the column in grey marble, it turned into a striking central feature.
Concrete slabs complement Haight’s minimalist aesthetics, but also sculptural elements of natural stone and unpolished concrete were chosen to give the store a deliberately handmade look&feel. MNMA worked in collaboration with Studio Passalacqua to provide organic, clay-based toned cement, paints, and coatings for the walls, floor, and ceiling, to would give a smooth, warm finishing inn contrast to raw and unfinished concrete, elements that are intrinsically linked to the Brutalism period.