Building Drama in Brazil

Build Your Own House First

Roberto Candusso grew up in Italy and immigrated to Brazil when he was just 16. By that time, he had already demonstrated a marked talent for art and architecture. At a very young age he won a prize for a “very creative self-portrait.” When he was 12, he designed his parents’ home—no small feat for a child.

Not long after, in 1970, Candusso joined a big construction company in São Paulo, Brazil, where he oversaw a large group of architects. This was remarkable, given that he himself had no formal training at the time. “Architecture was so natural for him that no architect in his department would even think of questioning his leadership and experience,” explains his son, Renato Candusso. Even so, Roberto Candusso decided to complete his formal education to further improve his work. He graduated from the Universidade Mogi das Cruzes in São Paulo with an Architecture degree in 1976 and set off to establish his own firm, Candusso Arquitetos. Renato joined him before he himself graduated from Belas Artes in 2000 with an Architecture degree.

Creating Lush Lifestyles, The Amazon River Palace Hotel

The team recently won acclaim in two different categories in the 7th Grande Prêmio de Arquitetura Corporativa—a total of four awards for their work on The Amazon River Palace Hotel and Florida Penthouses. The Amazon River Palace Hotel stands next to one of the most important rivers in the state of Amazonas, the Rio Negro. Offering both exclusive hotel and residential apartments accentuated with restaurants, a spa, a nightclub, a fitness academy, a convention center, and a high-end marina, the design is defined by large open terraces. The main apartment corridors open up to the center of the hotel, creating a dramatic, soaring lobby. Outside, residents and patrons can enjoy an elevated view of the river at the riverside bar and pool.

My favorite project is always the one I have on the screen of my computer, at the moment of its conception.

--Renato Candusso, Architect, Candusso Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil

Candusso’s team used the Vectorworks® Architect software to create the freeform design; they relied on the Digital Terrain Modeling capabilities to conform the building and its accompanying amenities to the rolling riverbank. Roberto has been using the program since it was first introduced more than 20 years ago; he and his team use it for all phases of design. “What I appreciate most in the software is its user-friendly interface, as well as the great variety of features,” says Renato. “Wall sculpting and the application of 2D objects to the working plane are some of my favorites.” They tap the 3D functionality for mass and façade studies, and often use such Building Information Modeling (BIM) functionality as the Space tool when evaluating internal spaces. These robust tools helped the team gain great recognition for the Amazon River Palace Hotel design.

Amazon River Palace is at the same time, a simple and bold design. It’s based on simple lines with a remarkable shape.

--Renato Candusso, Architect, Candusso Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil

Florida Penthouses

Located in the “golden block” of a luxurious neighborhood in São Paulo City, the Florida Penthouses condominiums are a “design with DNA,” according to Renato. Florida Penthouses had its “DNA,” or layout design, initially copyright protected, which is not usual for the architectural market in Brazil. “It’s part of a very select group of architectural designs with registered copyrights—only 1,839 designs have been registered in Brazil, so far.”

Florida Penthouses’ distinctive two towers rise far above the Rio Pinheiros, making a striking city skyline. With 200 upscale apartments, a private elevator, and a number of flexible and versatile floor plans, it sets a new standard in elegance. “The secret to this design involves mainly the layout of the floor plan, but also includes the façade, finishings, and other exclusive attributes,” says Renato. Using Vectorworks’ 3D modeling capabilities, the Candusso team created a high-class space with double-high stories and a generously proportioned terrace. They used the database worksheet query functions extensively for net wall areas, and other information to get accurate measurements from the model during the study phases.

The secret to this design involves mainly the layout of the floor plan, but also includes the façade, finishings, and other exclusive attributes.

--Renato Candusso, Architect, Candusso Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, is a global economic force with booming business and cultural centers, and a place well known for its innovative, larger-than-life architecture. Together, this father-son team and their firm are taking the city to even greater heights.

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