Located in Cidade Jardim, a neighborhood close to Belo Horizonte’s downtown, this 3,000m2 residence, built in 1960 in Spanish colonial style, was turned into the headquarters of an important holding originated in Minas Gerais.
There was an option made for not using extreme interventions, in order to preserve the building’s history.
One of the project’s biggest difficulties came from organizing workstations, meeting rooms and file rooms where previously were private rooms and social or service areas, which are the essence of introspective environments. After the spatial redistribution, the building came to accommodate about 200 workers. What was formerly a dining room, for example, became a room for board meetings; the living room became the directors’ office and the controller room was established where a service area used to be, including an annex added by the architect to the main area of the residence.
Another complicating element was that the holding acts in many different sectors – heavy construction, mining, phone services and public service concessions, amongst others. The solution proposed by the architect and his team was to mark individually, and discretely, each one of these spaces, also keeping the sense of uniformity of the whole. The interior design aimed at leaving wide flow areas so as to compensate for the compartmentalization. It focused on a soft visual programming, basically monochromatic scheme, considering the integration between the office/house and the external area – the estate is located amidst an extensive urban forest.
When choosing the furnishings, the architect preferred neutral design pieces as a rule. Either specially designed or taken from catalogues and then adapted, the furniture pieces avoid conflicting with the old house, never conceding to parody. The lighting follows suit. Its basic concept came from a particular fixture, conceived by the architect, that can hold a variable amount of bulbs, according to the need of each space. Beyond functional lighting, the fixture’s form (focusing the ceiling) targets also a nice view of the roof structure.
The air handling equipment was inserted very discretely in the rooms. In the external area, landscaping was planned to include large sized trees and grass only – “we avoided bushes and shrubs to make maintenance easier.”
Project name: AG Holding
Architecture: Gustavo Penna, Laura Penna, Norberto Bambozzi, Alexandre Bragança, Ana Rita Massahud, Juliana Couri, Ana Paula Assis, Priscila Dias de Araújo
Location: Belo Horizonte – Minas Gerais – Brasil
Year designed: 2001
Year completed: 2003
Projected area: 1.960m2
Photos: Jomar Bragança