biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil

BIRI Revitalizes Oscar Niemeyer’s JK Housing Complex

 

BIRI Arquitetura takes over the semi-duplex renovation of the Governador Juscelino Kubitschek housing complex in Brazil. The complex, originally designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1951, comprises a ground-floor commercial area and two prominent residential towers, adding character to the Belo Horizonte skyline, offering a total of 1086 apartments. In 2022, the JK building received recognition from the Cultural Heritage Council of Belo Horizonte, solidifying its historic significance. The project revolves around the semi-duplex of block B, one of the 13 distinct typologies of JK apartments. This typology, initially conceived by Niemeyer for the Quitandinha hotel in Petrópolis and later adapted to Minas Gerais’ capital, employs the ‘section planning’ technique, an approach dating back to the 19th century. This strategy not only optimizes spatial arrangements but also enhances privacy, thermal comfort, and natural ventilation by minimizing collective circulation.

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil
all images by Jomar Bragança

 

 

restoring Spatial Horizontality through versatile furniture

 

The renovation proposes an enhancement of the apartment’s east facade, transforming it into a balcony/garden area, and replacing a section of the natural wooden parquet floor with hydraulic tiles to facilitate plant care. The kitchen floor is similarly updated to combat humidity issues. Adjacent to the hydraulic plumbing, the intervention reinforces spatial horizontality through multifunctional furniture design. This piece serves as a versatile storage unit, alternately functioning as a shelf, archive, office, cabinet, wet bench, oven, pantry, and wine cellar, maintaining unity in materiality and proportions. The design team ensures cohesion by fenestrating the dividing wall of the stairs with an oval shape, fashioned from weathering steel.

 

On the upper half-level, a headboard/gallery is crafted using marine plywood, and the existing joinery is revitalized. Additionally, the original concrete structure is exposed to create a contrast against the masonry’s thickness and tone. The revealing of support infrastructure is intentionally carried through the apartment renovation.

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil
the kitchen floor is coated with hydraulic tiles to combat humidity issues

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil
the original concrete structure is exposed to create a contrast against the masonry’s thickness and tones

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil
the versatile furniture functions as a shelf, archive, and office

jk-building-oscar-niemeyer-1951-semi-duplex-apartment-renovation-designboom-1800-2

the apartment’s typology employs the ‘section planning’ technique

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil
the spatial arrangement enhances privacy and natural ventilation

biri optimizes apartment's layout in oscar niemeyer's jk building in brazil
the renovation focuses on multifunctional furniture design

jk-building-oscar-niemeyer-1951-semi-duplex-apartment-renovation-designboom-1800-3

the revealing of support infrastructure is intentionally carried through the renovation

 

1/6
the intervention reinforces spatial horizontality
the intervention reinforces spatial horizontality
stair window detail
stair window detail
croquis ©Marcos Franchini
croquis ©Marcos Franchini
axonometric diagram
axonometric diagram
section drawing
section drawing
plan drawing
plan drawing

project info:

 

name: JK semi-duplex renovation
architect: BIRI | @biri.arq

design team: Marcos Franchini, Nattalia Bom Conselho, Clara Garcia

collaboration: Luiza Reis e Lima e Vinicius Pinheiro

execution: Waldir Ribeiro

construction management: Rafael Maia

steel structure: Roberto Vianini

furniture: Ed Móveis

total built area: 50 sqm

location: Edifício JK (Bloco B) Belo Horizonte, Brazil

photography: Jomar Bragança | @jomarbraganca

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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