Concrete as a material is cool and often sexy, but incorporating into one’s home can seem intimidating—if not impossible. Still, there are ways to spotlight it without going overboard. Case in point: this apartment renovation in Rio de Janeiro that takes advantage of the building’s structural supports to make a statement.
Local firm Estúdio Chão was tasked with combining two apartment units into one family home in the neighborhood of Alto Leblon. The result is a generous floorplan arranged around an open living area with views of the city, ocean, and the Dois Irmãos mountains by way of an expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony.
Anchoring the space are the aforementioned V-shaped concrete supports that remain exposed and unfinished. Acting as de facto room dividers, they break up the living room without intruding too much on sight lines. In addition, their rough quality adds heft to the otherwise bright and airy space. Although the beams are, of course, part of the building’s architecture, they could have easily been covered or masked.
The rest of the home’s programs are arranged around the perimeter of this space, with bedrooms, baths, and kitchen radiating out. As such, there are no corridors or hallways running through the apartment. Parquet floors and a built-in wooden shelving and storage units imbue the modern home with warmth. And although the project is from 2013, the interiors still feel fresh. Keep this classic and contemporary urban apartment in mind for your next refresh.