Based in São Paulo, Brazil, architectural firm ZALC Arquitetura (ZALC) designed an apartment with a striking variety of floor coverings. Centred around interior design, the firm developed the project for a couple who appreciate art and the modernist/brutalist style that is very present in Higienópolis, the neighbourhood where the apartment is located. 

Reconfigured space 

The apartment was originally divided with many rooms. ZALC chose to remove the service bedroom, expanding the service area and kitchen, partitioned by sliding doors. Creating new closing possibilities, the configuration and use of the two existing bedrooms were changed, adding a curved wall made of metalwork and glass. 

Minimalism through floor coverings 

The main challenge of the project was to guarantee minimal finishes, despite the imperfections and irregularities typical of a brutalist modernist apartment. The wooden floor was original but had been covered with epoxy paint. To keep the original floor incorporated in the new layout, it was necessary to remove the entire floor and treat it. 

The curves, which meet the terrazzo floor, do not only have an aesthetic effect – this solution had to be given because there was not enough flooring for the entire social area. In the master suite, the curves were incorporated through the panel executed in Portuguese stones, creating a link with the sidewalks in Rio de Janeiro designed by Burle Marx, one of the residents’ favourite artists. The contrast of the created curves, with the brutalism belonging to the concrete, was demonstrated whenever possible. 

Colour inspiration 

The space is full of colour, present in the furniture and works of art, always highlighted by the white on the walls. The use of colours at the entrance door to the master suite was inspired by the Mondrian. 

The team at ZALC explains that they positioned the paintings even before starting the layout process, highlighting mainly the Burle Marx and triptych paintings.

The original wood flooring was used after having a layer of epoxy paint removed, and the wood treated. 

Project name: JF Apartment. 

Address: Higienópolis, São Paulo – SP, Brazil. 

Architects: ZALC Arquitetura. 

Area: 182m². 

Photographs: André Mortatti. 

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to for the information in this editorial. 

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