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Rustic Yet Elegant Minimalist Apartment With Light Play

A rustic yet elegant 155 square metre apartment resides in Cidade Jardim, Brazil, created by architect Nildo José and team. Casa Dendê Duratex is a clean and minimalist architecture. Crisp lines are employed and covered in a monochrome colour palette to convey an atmosphere of modern sophistication. However, curvaceous elements come into play too, dramatically rounding out the seam between wall and ceiling with both impact and grace. This fluid environment works as an analogy of the Bahian recôncavo, whilst light filtering muxarabi screens honour traditional Bahian architecture. This architectural element is utilised to build ‘boxes’ within the layout too, which house a concealed kitchen and an ensuite bathroom.

An entire wall is dedicated to Brazilian cachaça bottles in the living room, giving a long black feature wall a reflective quality. The bottles are decorated with Bahia’s sand, giving a subtle nod to the colonial past of the recôncavo. The shelves, which were designed in partnership with Florense, sink away into an inward curve of the black ribbed wall at one end.

The curve of the wall moves in-line with a white crescent sofa. A white swing arm wall lamp projects from the shapely perimeter to form a connect with the furniture placement. Each piece stands unique, like works of sculptural art.

A triangular modern coffee table partners a great stone slab table, mixing minimalist and modern in the nucleus of the space. Inspired by traditional Bahian architecture, a muxarabi ventilation screen splits the sunlight entering through the skylight. The screen is coupled with special glass that controls the sun’s rays to cool the interior from the high temperatures of the region.

A cappuccino accent chair adds depth of tone to the white lounge arrangement. A woven rug spreads out underneath. Most of the fabrics and carpet in the home were brought from Bahia and made by the traditional manual loom of the state, which is similar to those used to form rest hammocks.

The modern fireplace is an elegant ceiling mounted design in the corner of the room, which descends by a captivating view of an old majestic tree. On the other side of the fireplace, a tall ladder climbs the cachaça shelves.

A second lounge area connects with the kitchen dining space. Above it, a dramatic sweeping arc forms where wall meets ceiling. Trancoso Duratex wood panels in concave format clad the optical illusion, darkly confusing the vertical and horizontal plane. The tonality resembles the rich coloured and resistant trunk of the Jacarandá da Bahia tree. Burnt cement coats the neighbouring walls, creating a high contrast linen color against the wooden arc. The light covering makes reference to the simple style façades of Bahia beach houses.