Bela Cintra 1235 by Triptyque



French-Brazilian architects Triptyque have sent through images of Bela Cintra 1235, a private apartment in São Paulo.


Completed in 2006, the apartment features a monumental curving bookcase that wraps around the building's circulation.


The apartment was designed for Houssein Jarouche, owner of the design boutique Micasa in São Paulo. Triptyque also designed the Micasa showroom.


See our earlier story about the Loducca building in São Paulo by Triptyqye.

Here's info from Triptyque:



AREA 300 m²

Dominique Gonzales Foester defined the tropical identity as “something organic, intense, sensorial, vegetal, pulsating, immature, out of control”.


These concepts guided the project for this apartment. This project embodies the idea of global design – it’s a completely artistic project. A contemporaneous and singular architectural plan is established from the layout to the faucets.


The 300 square feet apartment was planned as a great gallery with aligned rooms without an established function. The goal was to stimulate unexpected occupations and give a certain gratuité to the spaces. The main concept was to work the space as whole unit, divided in smaller rooms.


Inside, strong elements are confronted, resulting in a poetic conversation. The use of wooden floors – per example – is very expressive: the treated demolition wood and its irregular pieces juxtaposes with the white lacquered bookcase. The artificial makes visual contrast with the rough. In the same way, the kitchen’s concrete speaks to the stainless steel from the drawers and doors.


Therefore, the apartment offers a great variety of points of view, sequences, accidents and movements. The result is extraordinary and surprising – the visual relation created with the loose volumes and the organic omnipresence of the Treme-Treme leads to a unique architectural experience.


“The first step was to clear the space and observe the potentials. The second step was to establish a new hierarchy that privileges the continuity of spaces. The third, to search and create a language of our own”, say the Triptyques.


The greatest challenge to the architects was to make sure that this continuity was obtained without interfering in the richness of internal spaces. The apartment structure was opened to its maximum in order to clear the plan, where a dialog between the bookcase, the kitchen and the galleries is set.


A monumental structure (the bookcase) embraces the technical core of the building (elevators and stairs). It presents itself in every room and defines the whole project: through the bookcase is made the entrance to the apartment, like walking into a cave, through the dark towards the light.


The kitchen is a great concrete stone – from where fire arises – that stands in the center of the project. It is the element of encountering and articulation and is placed in the central position, speaking directly to the great structure (the bookcase).


The gallery is marked by integrated essential elements, such as closets, bathtub, bed, kitchen, etc. – all of them treated in a minimalist way – rough concrete, demolition wooden floors, stainless steel, white walls, etc. – giving the furniture and art pieces space to be moved around.


The furniture – pieces of international design collections – was chosen with the client’s participation. The choice was leaded by the configuration of spaces, considering as priority the rooms’ versatility and the possibility of eventual layout changes.


White is the main color used. In the gallery, the white is accompanied by the natural colors of the other materials – concrete, wood and stainless steel – and in the bedroom it is side by side with dark-grey elements, giving it a strong and intimate feel.


Posted on Sunday May 18th 2008 at 8:44 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Zhi ZHANG

    Only the bathroom seems nice!

  • Zenza

    That bookcase is amazing, and I’m not much into organic forms….

  • edward

    Masterful! Breathtaking! I had some reservations about the extent of the wood floor but the variety of color and grain in the recycled planks obviated that. Remembering what’s in those cubby holes might be a problem!

  • CPCP

    i cant get enough of that bookcase!! great concept and execution

  • Ar.Sachin Singh

    gud work, sense of innovation is seen. gud use of materials.
    just one error in ur description. its not a 300 sq.ft of apartment. its infact 3000 sq.ft

  • fran

    ar sachin, it is not 300 sq. ft, it is 300 sq meters.

  • F

    reminds me of this flat in clockwork orange .. grrhh …

  • This flat seems extremely cold, without life. No place, no crevice to huddle into, near. Everything is BAM, in the open. This is probably THE prime example of a gadgetized, consumerist world that we’re living in. The space seems to be a gallery, filled with designer chairs and tables. Not sure if they even flow together well. As individual pieces, I do adore the bookshelf and the door withing, and somewhat have a liking for the bath, yet still too cold.

  • Andre Rodrigues

    that project is really old and wore out. it was firstly published in a casa vogue brazil long time ago, cant remember when though (go figure how long it was). they have an inclination for doing the same thing over and over again, so i guess this project can be nice at first sight, but then it’s not if you think about their whole career. im brazilian, i live in sp, i know what im saying. =)

  • again, i have to agree Dariusz.
    the place looks like shit.
    anyone knows who’s the designer of the desk with the mac on?

  • Nuwanda

    I am not buying that this apartment is 300 square feet. That’s got to be a typo – probably more like 3000 square feet….

  • edward

    Anyone who can afford this place won’t be looking for a crevice to huddle in;-)

  • Roberto

    The table was designed by a brazilian architect called Arthur Casas.
    I live in São Paulo, I’ve been in the apartment. Iy is amazing!!!
    Andre… fuck you. You probably work in a lousy office…

  • Tiago

    Looks like a showroom…
    but really nice anyway

  • Bruna

    Andre… my darling!
    Sorry about your shabby chic little ftat!
    Next time maybe the owner invite you for a nice party with cool people….
    Dream about it.
    Look all magazines and articles about Micasa and this apartment.
    c u next time

  • Tracy

    amazing bookcase! i like the organic form. agreed with CPCP

  • this flat lacks in real vision.
    No unity, too much money and no project.