April 6th, 2013 – Perhaps it’s not just Isay Weinfeld’s love for structures that renders him one of Brazil’s top architects. Weinfeld, a self proclaimed ‘sponge’, regularly extends his curiosity beyond design to the subjects of philosophy, astronomy, politics, music, cinema, and literature. The architect even organizes regular lectures for his office, discussing topics ranging from Existentialism to media. “Knowledge for him is a shared experience, not a solitary pursuit,” New York-based architectural designer and journalist Raul Barreneche explains as he treats archi-nerds everywhere to a wonderful written and visual exploration into Weinfeld and his prolific body of work in the new book, Isay Weinfeld.
Last week Weinfeld’s team sent us a copy of the book to experience the collective first hand. The book is an examination of seventeen pieces of work by Weinfeld, described with texts and pictures with more than two hundred beautiful photographs. Weinfled’s previous 2008 book was a guide through the architects residential builds. This new issue is dedicated to the architect’s commercial works, such as São Paulo’s upscale Disco nightclub, Galeria Luisa Strina, Clube Chocolate, Hotel Fasano, and Fadenza Boa Vista. For each project, Barreneche documents personal insights from Weinfeld, along with his architectural drawings.
The book opens with a look into Disco, an upscale nightclub in São Paulo that Weinfeld worked on for six years. At Disco, Isay was able to “strike a balance between natural, and seductive black spaces that let music and dancing take center stage with carefully choreographed moments of color,” Barreneche explained. Upon entering the club, visitors are immediately submerged in a long tunnel outfitted in small rectangular mosaic tiles. It is here, that photographer Paulo Pampolin captured Weinfeld proudly standing amongst of his creation, as seen above.
Over 200 large photographs illustrate the volume taken by world renowned snappers like Leonardo Finotti and Nelson Kon, but this dreamy photograph of the Equestrian Center Clubhouse at the Fazenda Boa Vista was taken by Fernando Guerra of FG+SG Architectural Photography. The Equestrian Center Clubhouse evolved on the tail end of Weinfeld’s build up of the massive 1,800 acre residential and hospitality complex in Porto Feliz.
Another night club absorbing pages in the book is São Paulo’s Bar Numero. “Weinfeld is always orchestrating how visitors will move through the space,” Barreneche explains. “After crossing the steel walkway, one steps into a vestibule with walls and ceilings clad entirely in bronze mirror. From here, the entrance leads to a low-ceiling bar area – and then the drama unfolds as one gazes down the length of the 112,53 feet-long interior, which ends in a towering glass window. Beyond is an illuminated thick garden with palm trees, orchids, heliconia, and jasmine.”
Barrenche also outlines the story behind the Fasano Las Piedras – Fasano Group’s first hotel outside of Brazil, in Punta Del Este, Uruguay. Barreneche noted that Weinfeld’s first visit to the vast, open land marked the integral preservation of the original hacienda of the property’s former owner. Weinfeld saw to it that the historic hacienda was organically woven into the design of the new hotel, where bungalows, pools, and pavilions are now scattered throughout the cactus-covered land.