A Brazilian retail project offers a lesson in eco-friendly architecture

São Paulo – Micasa is a furniture store with three buildings: the original store, known as Vol. A; Vol. B, which Studio MK27 designed in 2007, and Vol. C, which the Brazilian design firm was asked to bring to life in 2018. The main requirement for the final piece of this trinity was that it could easily switch functions between its roles as a shop, exhibition space and temporary artist’s residence (the latter is made possible thanks to a caravan that fits inside).

The designer’s response was informed by the appearance of the other two buildings and a desire to implement the knowledge acquired from the studio’s research into the future of construction. The result is a light pavilion with a wooden structural system that the studio believes could lead to a more sustainable and simple form of construction – its detailed joinery allows for quick assembly with zero waste and a low carbon footprint.

Top: Shadows of the surrounding trees are projected onto the facade during the day to bring the movement of light and nature inside the space. | Middle: An Isamu Noguchi pendant lamp punctuates Vol. C’s double symmetry of the space and explores its vertical dimension. | Bottom: The timber frames are supported by steel rods placed at regular intervals to brace the structure.

Stability is provided by wrapping the wood in translucent polycarbonate for the building’s upper half and white metal plate at the base. As to how it relates to its surroundings, Studio MK27 provides a poetic description: ‘By contrasting with the “straightness” of the metal structure of Vol.A and the brutalist exposed concrete of Vol.B, Vol.C seems to float off the ground gently, like a Japanese lantern.’

studiomk27.com.br

This piece was originally featured in Powershop 6, the latest volume in our series about retail design. Get a copy here.

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