LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Isay Weinfeld's Villa Piracicaba


The work of influential Sao Paulo-based architect Isay Weinfeld is instantly recognizable for its infinite lines, dramatic outdoor living areas and ingenious balance. The spectacular Villa Piracicaba encapsulates his signature style.

Isay Weinfeld is well known as the architect of the Fasano Hotel in Sao Paulo, as well as several other landmark commercial projects in his home city. But among the Brazilian design cognoscenti, he is known as the go-to architect for spectacular private houses. Although he claims not to have a signature style, Weinfeld’s homes are characterized by elegantly balanced boxes that incorporate dramatic outdoor living areas where all unnecessary details are eliminated. It is a form of warm minimalism, an aesthetic perfectly encapsulated in one of Weinfeld’s latest structures, Villa Piracicaba.

Conceived as a holiday home for a family spread across different cities throughout Brazil, the brief for Villa Piracicaba stipulated several bedrooms as well as a large swimming pool and garden. Located on a sloping site, Weinfeld responded with a structure that gradually crawls up the land, allowing for access to the garden from all three floors, which are arranged in perpendicular axes. Bedrooms and social areas face north to give them the best possible light. Curving concrete planes reference Oscar Niemeyer and contrast with the abundant use of local woods (Weinfeld always incorporated local materials and is sensitive to the environment). Most impressive are the striking frames given to windows and doors, which not only control the views but which also draw the eye to certain points of the house. In short: Villa Piracicaba is a carefully considered triumph and another building by Isay Weinfeld that confirms his growing importance in the Brazilian architecture and design world.

Isay Weinfeld’s definition of luxury:

“Luxury in architecture is not different from luxury in life.
Luxury is having what makes you happy at home.
Luxury are spaces that make you take a deep breath, that amaze you, that make you think, that you find unusual, that move you...
It is possible to try to be happy with the minimum, get rid of all excesses, yet, if for you the least must be the most, then stay with the most. Luxury is having no rules.
Luxury is not owning “Bombé”, “Délavé” or “Flambé” furniture, but it might as well be. Luxury is not being ashamed of saying I like it when you like it or I don’t know when you don’t know. Luxury is not having a collection of famous brands, yet it is not the basic white T-shirt, either. Luxury is being able to mix these things naturally.
It is not owing anyone anything.
The pillow might be stuffed with goose down or horse mane. Luxury is being able to rest your head on it, peacefully.
To some, luxury may be buying a first-class ticket. To me, it is gobbling down a quarter pounder with cheese at the airport before boarding, instead of eating the hideous food that is served.
Luxury is being able to change your plans at any moment.
It is to be independent, unchained, free. It is to say no, it is to say yes, it is to say maybe, whenever you want.
It is to linger a little longer, if you feel like.
Luxury is to sit by the fireplace at dusk, in Winter, wearing a threadbare cashmere sweater, a pair of Scottish socks with some holes in them, a small plain glass full of cachaça, a cocker spaniel by your side, and a never-ending CD by Blossom Dearie. That might be in the English countryside, yet, with the passing of time and the onset of maturity, we realize it may also be in São Paulo’s countryside.
And that perception is truly a luxury.”

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