House on the Cafezal
© Rafaela Netto
Created in 1999, FGMF produces contemporary architecture, without restraints regarding the use of material and building techniques, seeking to explore the connection between architecture and its environment.
In these few years of existence, we’ve had the opportunity to deal with a wide range of architectural scales and programs, what enhances our belief that, just as life itself, architecture ought to be plural, heterogeneous and dynamic. Urban design, cultural facilities, residences, sports facilities, hospitals, schools, commercial buildings and many other are part of the same urban landscape and of our daily life: knowing how to deal with all these programs is a way to enrich our design, in contrast to a specialized architecture.
Based on the professional and academic experience of its associates, FGMF has an innovative and inventive approach. There are no pre-conceived formulae: at every challenge we start from scratch, using design as a research tool.
Our dedication and hard work led us to the satisfaction of receiving relevant national and international awards, among which some from the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB), Chicago Athenaeum, AIT, Living Steel, Editora Abril and Dedalo Minosse. In the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, FGMF was the most awarded practice in Brazil. In 2013, we were the only Brazilian practice awarded by World Architecture News in the 21 for 21 Award.
Recently, FGMF has been chosen as the only Brazilian office to integrate the Architects Directory from Wallpaper* Magazine. We were also highlighted by the Architectural Record (USA) magazine as one of the world’s ‘emerging architects’ (2010), and by A.U (BRA) magazine as one of the 25 best practices in Brazi. Our work has been published in more than 20 countries and took part in both national and international exhibitions. Rather than the recognition of a well-done job, this represents motivation for our further focus on creative and efficient projects.
Since the very beginning of our practice, we’ve pursued the dream of a truly ‘complete’ architecture. That would mean, to us, the development of buildings that respond not only to a sensitive and aesthetical design approach but also includes a strong sense of coherence between structure, program, landscape, materials and sustainability. Because it involves subjective perspectives, there might not exist such ‘complete architecture’. But to us it endures as a dream, continuously guiding us from scratch through every design.
What we have seen in buildings worldwide, and specially in Brazil, is the use of the term ‘sustainability’ in two different vertices: while the first put calculations before architecture, trying to achieve the best energy consumption, the second creates the form and then tries to fit a handful of gadgets to control the overall performance. One enhances the importance of the ‘instruments’ in detriment of the architecture; the other treats those instruments as remedies to an unjustified concept. In both cases, we couldn’t agree less with the results.
We understand ‘sustainability’ in our own particular way. Our belief is that good architecture should already be born sustainable in its deepest sense – regarding social issues, energy consumption, comfort, durability, and relation to the surrounding landscape and infrastructure. More than the gathering of fancy equipment to control air quality, light and temperature, a well-designed building should provide these answers through architecture itself. An effective social equity starts by creating more inclusive and public spaces, incorporating local workers and techniques to the building. Better than treating wastes is to avoid creating them. And so on.
Thus, the concept of sustainability is somehow always present in our work. Without arrogance, but with the interest to make a competent architecture in a wider perspective.