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Keynote Speaker: Arthur Casas

Brazilian architect Arthur Casas is one of the world’s most productive and influential designers, whose work has graced such cities as New York, Paris, Rio, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires. But São Paulo is his home and the chief canvas for his creations.

The largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere, São Paulo is home to one in 10 Brazilian citizens and its architectural style has always been chaotic—what has been called “a Disneyland of erratic architectural experiments.” By rejecting existing styles, Casas developed his own contemporary vision for a wide range of genres—residential, commercial, hospitality, furniture, and institutional—that is quite personal and almost indefinable, combining Brazilian touches with an international flourish.

We recently posed five questions to the architect as a preview of his headlining talk at HD Americas:  

When did you know you wanted to be an architect?
Since I was very young—8 or 9 years old—although there were no architects in my family. As a child, I thought that architects designed mostly houses. When I was 10, I visited Brasília and then understood that the career was much more dense and wide.

What architects inspired you?
I was influenced by the works of the Paulista group: Paulo Mendes da Rocha, João Batista Vilanova Artigas, Rino Levi, and architects that used octagonal lines and reinforced concrete. But it is impossible for [architects of] my generation to discount the influence of Oscar Niemeyer. He advocated freedom in Brazilian architecture, and he showed that it was possible to create great works within a city.

                                                              The Mistral Wine Store in São Paulo

You design a wide range of buildings. Is there something about hospitality projects that gives you special satisfaction?
Everything gives me the same feeling. I always try to design timeless projects. That’s the line of reasoning in my work.

What are you currently working on?  
We are working on some 50 projects in all different areas, including the Brazil Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan, the new Emiliano Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the arts and architecture school at Federal University of Paraná in Brazil, a restaurant in Los Cabos, the Soho Mall in Panama City, and five residential buildings in São Paulo.

Is there one building you are most proud of?
I’m always thinking ahead, and that doesn’t give me time to be proud of the work I’ve just completed. This might look like a defect, but it brings with it a critical sense to always be better and to look for new challenges.

                                                             The Mistral Wine Store in São Paulo

hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
Nielsen      Contract Design | Hospitality Design | K+BB | DDI

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