Thompson Hess House is a minimal home located in São Paulo, Brazil, designed by Felipe Hess. Designed by the architect Rodolpho Ortenblad in 1957 for his family, the house was renovated starting from the recovery of the elements that characterize the original project and from occasional changes in its program and plan. The front ground block, where there was an extensive service program and opened onto a central courtyard of the same character, started to house the garage and a playroom open to the outside area.
Now, it has a garden and also connects to the TV room, in the main block, through new wooden and glass doors that reproduce the original frames. The social hall panel was restored and a “shrimp” door was incorporated, using pre-existing wood, to connect the TV room to the rest of the rooms. The living room includes two living areas, the dining room, a new fireplace and a connection to the current office, an old intimate room, which opens onto the back garden.
The pergola with bench, an important architectural element of the house and very characteristic of Rodolpho Ortenblad’s projects, had been removed and thanks to period photos it was possible to be redone. Much of the original materials of the house were found out of character; the fulget of the closed and pillars, ceilings and wooden panels and frames painted in white, have been restored. The stone floor has also been restored and a new wooden floor has been suggested for the ground and upper floors.
New bricks painted in white were incorporated into some sections of the facade where there was a beige lithoceramic that was deteriorating. The kitchen, laundry and bathrooms have been completely redone, but the materials and colors used refer to the original palette of the house, such as beige limestone and wood. The house, which was awarded at the 1960s São Paulo Modern Art Salon and published in the book Residências em São Paulo 1947-1975 by Marlene Acayaba, after the renovation still retains its modern characteristics, but adapted to the demands of a contemporary family.
Photography by Fran Parente
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