The winning of awards has already begun in Barcelona at this year's edition of the World Architecture festival, and here's the victor from the Shopping category.
Designed by Brazilian architects Isay Weinfeld, this is Havaianas' first store in Brazil, located in of the world's most expensive addresses; the Rua Oscar Freire in São Paulo. A rather interesting fact when you consider that the products sold inside cost no more than around €10.00, which apparently, was an exciting element to the project. This was just one of the aspects - the heritage of the iconic rubber flip flop - which was carefully incorporated into the design...
"Our greatest challenge was to cast onto the architecture the climate the brand inspires: freshness, casualness, comfort, ease, well-being, Brazilianness. The shop has a very informal atmosphere and the outcome is nearly a square - a space fully opened onto the street, practically an extension of the sidewalk, without doors or window displays, with lush greenery and intense natural lighting, only covered by a metal grid alternating glass/wooden closures and openings for ventilation and irrigation.
The building develops in descending levels. At street level, just a small lounge area, a mezzanine overlooking the whole store; the store per se, one level below, occupies an ample clear span featuring double-height ceilings, marked by independent elements: a street market stand reminds us of the origin of the sandals, initially sold at the city's free markets; a container displays the " export" models, so far unseen in Brazil; a transparent cylinder features the so-called "new products" (bags, socks, towels, etc.); and a high-tech cube tells the story of Havaianas. Amidst all that, a lowered area for customization services and featuring displays for the children's products."
M.E. thinks this is a well-deserved win. Bright tropical colours mixed with a clean modern canvas has resulted in a friendly, welcoming store - congratulations to Isay Weinfeld and his team.
Photography: Nelson Kon