CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
São Paulo | DesignSeptember 15, 2011

Sao Paulo Loft

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Having lived many years in the city of Sao Paulo, I have the privilege  to have numerous friends who, when I go back there  to visit, they happen to treat me just like a queen. One of them is my  dear friend the Brazilian  architect, urbanist, interior designer  and Art Curator and consultant Joao Mansur.

I met Joao almost 15 years ago on the occasion of a city Interior Designers showcase, Casa Cor similar to the Amrican Kips Bay's Show House.  At the time, I used to own a small shop of interior finishes with two partners Beto Galvez and Norea Clemente who suggested we'd participated with a room at the prestigious event. Our small space , maybe a few square meters happened to be just neighbor of Jouao's.

Our decoration took  inspiration from 19th century English Gazebos and did not require many objects, just yellow stucco and Trompe l'Oeil finishes with a beautiful Chinese Pagoda chandelier borrowed from an antique store close to our shop.

On the contrary, Jouao space ,I remember well, had an average of 15 Italian busts mostly Roman emperors in Rosso Verona and  fiori di Pesco  Marbles, placed in perfectly symmetrical order in a squared grey walled enhance hall.  Striped silk thick draperies impeccably organized in proportional window niches , made a majestic impact enhancing, ormolu  1800 French furniture ,  modernist paintings and contemporary sculptures.

We worked for our small space, most of the day, lifting , gluing, displaying and painting the walls ourselves. Joao , at the contrary would pass 15 minutes, look around  almost mimicking  the posture of his   Italian busts , and with a discrete approval  leave quietly the same way he arrived. The only problem,  is that he would not say hi nor bye to us.

Because I have the good habit of generally not taking things personally from people, I assumed and shared with my partners,  who were not as well know as Joao, that he believed us to be our own staff. Years after this strange episode, we laughed incessantly for knowing each other much better and realizing that Joao not only is an adorable human being, with an unequalled talent, but he is also extremely shy.

For more than a decade, Joao Mansur was in the media with a circuit of  stunning residence decors from Sao Paulo Brasil a la Andrew Martin,  Buenos Aires, Argentina's old money,  New York 's elite at the Plaza landmark in partnership with Interior designer Michele Safra, and creme de la creme royal's homes in Lisbon, Portugal.

I have enjoyed taking some shots, certainly not professional photography, he has plenty of that, just to give you a sense of how comfortable I am when I am hosted  in this,  as Joao calls it "  Guest's Studio".  As you will be able to notice, the place certainly feels more as a small and majestic art museum than  a simple Sao Paulo Pied -a -terre.

Surrounded by Zebra Carpets,  English Coromandels, smartly lacquered  18th century columns in red, Andy Warhols, and piles, piles plies of wonderful art books on black and very daringly chic blackened walled high ceilings I am in heaven and Joao has no idea I am about  to post this on my magazine. It's a surprise.  Ready for a welcoming cocktails guys?

Joelle's picks

Joao Mansur  Arquitetura

BR: Rua Groenlandia 1922bb Jardim America 01434-100 Sao Paulo / Tel +55 11 30 83 1500 / joaomansur@joaomansur.com

US:  Michele Safra Interiors : Michele Safra 655 Park Avenue 10065 New York NY + 1 212  439 1818

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