At the 12th floor of the Gilberto Salomão Building, located at the commercial zones of downtown Brasília and inaugurated in 1960 with original design by Brazilian architect Sérgio Bernardes, the 1201 office was renovated to accommodate the architecture office, prioritizing the reuse of original items and existing materials at the site as well as other locations and nearby working sites, in order to reduce costs of the interventions while showcasing different traditional items of the modernist architecture of Brasília.
This compact 20 sq. m. office gets a slight expansion of its internal area by incorporating part of the common hallway, as it was authorized by the building’s administration, creating a small waiting area near the entrance that articulates the main working area and the restroom. The waiting area and the working area are divided by a wall of traditional Brasília hollow bricks (“cobogós”) while preserving the flow of natural ventilation and natural lighting. We have chosen not to building this hollow brick wall all the way up to the ceiling so that the exposed concrete ceiling and natural light would not be interrupted from one end of the office to the other. Inside the working area, the connecting door to the adjacent office was walled off in drywall as it was already done on the other side. On the other side, a long horizontal recess on the wall was made for books and material samples.
Highlighting the identity and historical aspect of this 63 year old building, the white painting at the ceiling was removed in order to expose the original concrete slab that resonated with the traditional modernist identity of the architecture of Brasília. The concrete slab ceiling is highlighted with the addition of hanging of cable trays for artificial lighting, removing lighting fixtures from the ceiling while also providing indirect lighting to illuminate the exposed concrete. Another typical element of the Brasília modernism is the wood tile flooring that were donated after being removed from a nearby building undergoing renovations. In a moment of transition between working from home and working from the office, the wood tile flooring brings the memory and the atmosphere of the living environment to the work environment.
The half-wall of bricks near the window was built with remaining bricks from another construction work. The counter top opens up to storage cleaning items and other materials inside. The original wooden door at the entrance was renovated to be utilized as the surface of the main workstation while preserving the metal locks as a reminder of its original function. The chairs were picked at a used furniture sale and had their leather seats renovated as well as their metal structures. At the restroom, the large 90x90cm tiles were installed at the floor and the bottom half of the walls, while the rest was painted in deep blue. The existing perforated mineral ceiling was preserved with the addition of a new lighting fixture and new ventilation equipment.