Visual Refreshment

23 / 04 / 2019
For more information, visit Corpo Atelier website.
Photography: Ricardo Oliveira Alves and Alexander Bogorodskiy 
It’s through the convergence between architecture and arts that Corpo Atelier gives shape to contemporary projects featuring a seductive and vibrant geometry. Based in the Algarve, the studio founded by Filipe Paixão presently seeks “to reinterpret the very rich and distinctive heritage” of this place, by exploring artistic and architectural possibilities.

What motivated you to establish the studio?
At the time, we realised that some of our ideas coincided in terms of the practice of architecture and its possibilities, particularly regarding artistic practise. There were a group of initial projects that allowed us to test these kinds of principles and, since then, we’ve focussed on continuing this practise.

What are the main considerations you bear in mind when executing projects in the Algarve?
There is a quite distinctive and rich cultural heritage in the Algarve territory which, unfortunately, because of mass tourism and real estate speculation has been consistently distorted. As an architectural practise, we always seek to discover and reinterpret this heritage, not from a nostalgic perspective but, rather, from a contemporary perspective, integrating it into the logic of each project.

 
 
How do you define the studio’s identity?
We are an architecture and art studio focussed on exploring and expanding architectural elements. This is where the studio’s name – Corpo – comes from.

Regarding your recent project Architectural (dis)Order, what were the client’s main requirements and in what way were they met?
The project Architectural (dis)Order is special since the client and the architect are the same person. It’s my apartment and, for that reason, there was a greater degree of freedom, just as there was more time to create and explore experimental ideas that interested us as a theme at the time. Being a studio-apartment, where there couldn’t be significant transformations in terms of the architecture, we approached the challenge as a design halfway between sculpture and furniture creation, placing three pieces within a neutral space, which condition and organise the way the apartment is inhabited. Up until now, the architect/client continues to feel satisfied.
 
 
What are your main influences?
In general, they are quite varied and changeable. We are particularly interested in a more sculptural interpretation of the composition of spaces and, so, artists such as Richard Serra, Gordon Matta Clark and Eduardo Chillida are often almost directly ‘quoted’ in our projects. In the field of architecture, there are some fundamental figures who we grew with as architects, such as Álvaro Siza, Peter Markli, Julian Laampens, among others.

Art is also one of your main points of interest. Is there an inherent relationship between art and architecture?
We are interested in art as a source of ideas that we then seek to transpose to the field of architecture, to the architecture itself but, probably above all, to the very conception of this architecture. When integrating this more artistic approach, we seek to find different ways of designing buildings because we believe that by using different tools we will inevitably achieve different outcomes that are impossible to predict before this act of experimentation. Thus, our artistic practice has been essentially expressed through drawings and scale models.