In undertaking the restoration project for the Selo brand of handmade shoes, MNMA studio was inspired to create a brief escapism atmosphere at their Brazilian store.
To effect a contrast with the chaos of the city of São Paulo, the architects decided on a simple, clear-cut facade: pigmented cement slates and frameless glass reflect the urbanity while achieving some lightness.
The studio’s method of developing ideas from outside inward, combined with the pursuit of fluid circulation, led to the final layout, with the sidewalk alignment as a continuum offering access to all.
Inside, the atrium was remodeled to create a round skylight framing the sky. The purpose here was not only illumination, but also playful contact with nature, the weather, and the passage of time, besides some human-scale perspective, a reminder that we share the same sky. Inspiration came from some creations of the artist James Turrell, who is celebrated in this project.
The toilet sink is another work of artisanship. It involved ‘curving’ a limestone and applying flames to it in order to come up with a very unique rough texture. The occasional furniture pieces are original 1950s samples.
During the curing and the overall construction process, the expansion of materials incurred some damage on the floor. The solution adopted was a Kintsugi technique of filling the cracks with a special golden mixture, as if to honor the fact.