Expectations for the real estate market 2020: Bridge Imóveis interviews Arch. Paulo

A look at contemporary architecture: Bridge Imóveis interviews Architect Paulo H. Rodrigues

Article extracted from Bridge Imóveis Blog. Check out the full article at the real estate website

With more than thirty years of experience, Stemmer Rodrigues stands out for its architectural production in residences and incorporations. Each project presents a concept that is applied in all details of its enterprises.

We talked with Stemmer Rodrigues' executive director, architect Paulo Henrique Rodrigues, about the new Vista development and real estate market trends for the coming years. In an exclusive interview, we talked about sustainability, innovation and contemporary architecture. Follow this complete chat here at Bridge Imóveis Blog.

It is possible to notice that innovation is always present in Stemmer Rodrigues' projects. What was the main innovation of Vista?

We understand each project as an unprecedented opportunity to innovate in multiple aspects. We open the common spaces and transform them into convivial environments full of design and functionality. We open the plants to make them intelligent and customizable, following the evolution of families. At Vista, two great highlights take advantage of a challenging terrain: the entire social area has been elevated to the fourth floor, revealing a panoramic view of the city, and the facade brings a generous green wall that presents the street with more permeability and residents with an even closer relationship with nature.

In Vista's design, bioarchitecture is present in a balance between beauty and functionality, in an integrated, respectful and harmonious way to the ecosystem. How is it possible to bring nature closer and closer to the residents in a metropolis?

Bioarchitecture is a matter of harmony between user and context. Vista has a wide green façade, showing the public a face of bioarchitecture. It is a vertical garden that, besides mimicking the volume of garages, regulates the temperature of the area and filters the lighting. The roof will be made with regional species that bring shade and ventilation. We created an immersive architectural experience already in the garage: the main access for the residents is by car and, in this space, it is possible to admire the sky, feel the perfume of the flowers... The gardens of the social space will also bring a dense coverage of regional species, which ensure a management, irrigation and durability consistent with our seasons and, therefore, even more sustainable.

Vista's leisure area has some attractions such as outdoor parrilla and mountain toys. How is the challenge to respond architecturally to life and contemporary desires?

We must always be aware of new public behaviour. Even more important is knowing how to interpret them. We observed that the party halls were underused by the tenants because, in general, they are impersonal environments, with many tables. We reinterpreted this space and Vista will be the third venture to have a party room with a new vision. A welcoming lounge, which receives the owners 24 hours a day, a true extension of their homes. This new setting stimulates the relationship between neighbors, rescuing a conviviality very present until the 70's in Porto Alegre and that was lost with the growth of the city.

We are also concerned that all common spaces talk to each other, on the same pavement, all integrated into the gardens.

The toy library brings children what they don't have inside, a convivial atmosphere with friends. However, we dedicate ourselves with architecture to stimulate creativity, with toys and accessories that privilege natural materials, in tune with the mountain education that many have in their schools.

The idea of having a barbecue and parrilla in the gardens, with a covering in tensioned canvas, was inspired by the relaxed barbecues and picnics that are part of the gaucho's memory. A relaxed space, without borders, where everyone gets close to the fire, gathers around the bench or spreads out in the sun on the lawn.

In addition to the Pontos de Vista exhibition, the development catalogue was replaced by a magazine. How do you evaluate the importance of this more sensitive, profound and provocative content?

Stemmer Rodrigues has always been aligned with art and cultural projects. We have promoted several Art Weeks open to the public and non-profit. Some were at our headquarters, in Chácara das Pedras, and two were at the inaugurations of the Bossa and Poema buildings. In a similar way, we promoted a photographic contest for Instagram called Pontos de Vista, with prize, exhibition and catalogue. The exhibition was at Instituto Ling, on the occasion of the launch of the Vista building, together with the distribution of the magazine, which has the same name as the contest. The magazine has current cultural issues in articles aligned with the way of life, signed by writers and partners such as Letícia Wierzchowski, Mariana Bertolucci and Guto Indio da Costa. They have brought their experiences in a poetic or technical way adding knowledge to our pages. We think it is important to bring new contents to the general public, but the essential is that these looks are in line with Stemmer Rodrigues' principles.

Stemmer Rodrigues has experience in the real estate market for thirty years. What are the main developments that you notice in the sector? And what still needs to be improved?

The evolution is permanent, as in any sector. Sustainability and the use of new technologies are two items to be improved in the general market and, in our practice, we seek to apply them consistently. We privilege raw materials and regional suppliers with a reduced carbon footprint and simplified logistics chain, we choose constructive materials that "age well" and are timeless, resisting brief trends. In technological adoption, we seek resources that bring security, comfort and simplicity to everyday life with interfaces and natural, intuitive usability. Both still have high implementation costs in the real estate market and, although small, its perceived value has increased by customers. Certainly these costs tend to decrease as their uses become extensive worldwide.

What are your expectations for the real estate market in 2021?

The 2020 property market was extremely well on track before the pandemic took hold. Initially, it seemed that the market would enter a recession, but surprisingly demand for real estate grew and business followed a very good pace. I believe that the reason is the appreciation of the home, never as high as at this time. Everyone is more collected in their homes, which has become the scene of the most diverse activities of all family members.

I still think it's premature to make predictions for 2021. Even with the decline in many countries, the pandemic is still in place worldwide, we do not know for sure whether there will be another wave or whether we will be contemplated with a vaccine later this year. In any case, the appreciation of the home, the need for spaces with multiple uses and, above all, the natural habit of people to project their identities in their own homes point to rising purchasing behaviors in 2021.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bridge Imóveis has seen a 50% increase in demand for larger apartments, including garden style and penthouses. Do you believe this is a trend that should continue in the coming years?

It is perfectly understandable that the market seeks open spaces in its private areas during the pandemic. But speaking of the specific market of Porto Alegre, our legislation does not favour projects with open spaces at all, which as an architect I find regrettable. This lack of stimulus has an impact on our urban landscape, with few balconies, terraces and rare buildings with full and empty spaces. On the other hand we cannot forget that for a long time they were stimulated by the city hall of our city and built buildings with large balconies and roofs. These same buildings were systematically uncharacterized by the owners, closing the balconies and covering the roofs, turning the buildings into architectural aberrations. The arguments of the owners varied from lack of space to little use of open spaces due to the gaucho climate.

It is always important to remember that, from the conceptualization to the delivery of a new real estate product, we usually have intervals of 4 to 6 years, so that the industry's responses to behaviors such as what we see today are necessarily slower and more prudent. I believe that there is, yes, a public that will always appreciate open spaces and, for them, a small percentage of real estate will always be enough. But after the pandemic, when everyone returns to the common areas of their buildings, parks, clubs, as well as go to the beach and travel, the market, in general, will return to the old scenario.

What is the importance of the customized plant or free plant for the contemporary consumer?

The free plant, as far as technically possible, is of vital importance to today's consumer. Family conformations are becoming less and less rigid. From singles, childless couples, couples with children from previous marriages who need a temporary dormitory, elderly people, to home office activities, different behaviors force the home projects to be more flexible. Changing the use of spaces should be an objective to reduce the obsolescence of the property.

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