Tais Mattos Apartment

Making Obstacles into Solutions

In 2009 innovative architect Rodrigo Ohtake teamed up with architect Tais Mattos to renovate Mattos’s apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, into a work of art.  An immediate challenge was presented by the elevator shaft or “core” which was positioned in the center of the apartment.  In his characteristic creative style, Ohtake changed the core from being a perceived problem into a functional and pleasingly aesthetic solution.

“I believe that one of the goals in architecture is to transform obstacles into challenges and then into innovative solutions.”

Ohtake designed shelving niches directly into the cement elevator core.  The additional storage space was given character with decidedly organic shapes rather than conventional rectangular shelving.  To lend further distinction and aesthetic value, the core was painted a very lively yellow, and the recessed storage spaces were given dimension with dark linings to contrast with the yellow.  The resulting effect in the apartment is that the elevator core is the central sculpture both functional and pleasing to the eye.

secondlevel_foto1 The creative forms of the storage recesses make the wall a functional work of art.

secondlevel_foto2 The elevator core in bright yellow highlights the light and open atmosphere inside the apartment.

secondlevel_foto3 Light and bright colors lend smaller spaces such as this apartment an atmosphere of spaciousness and warmth.

secondlevel_foto4 Creative forms make the ordinary extraordinary. Here, what could have been an ordinary book shelf, is instead a functional and interesting form.

secondlevel_foto5 A wonderful aspect of this apartment is the extensive expanse of natural light provided by the many windows.

secondlevel_foto6 The light and organizational mastery demonstrated here gives the apartment a spacious character.