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Artful Collaborations

Brazilian Interior Designer Joao Armentano and Paulo Bacchi, CEO of Artefacto join forces in the ultimate collaboration of high end interior design.

By Angela Betancourt

The phrase ‘art and life become one’ can inspire the imagination and conjure a variety of literal and figurative imagery and meanings. The Related Group sought to take this phrase and turn it into reality by doing what they do best; creating an ultra luxury condominium building that entices both praise and envy. The result is the Marea, South of Fifth’s final and captivating condominium.

Meaning tide in Spanish, Marea’s name is very fitting considering its location near the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach Marina. Marea was designed by the powerhouse team of Sieger Suarez Architects, Yabu Pushelburg (interior design), and Enzo Enea (landscape). They set out to capture Miami’s “uniquely glamorous fusion of art and design” and harmoniously incorporated original works of art by critically acclaimed contemporary artists in the common areas.

Not surprisingly, there are hardly any units left at Marea and the last remaining penthouses are getting some extra VIP attention. The Related Group assembled another superstar team of designers to finish their last four penthouses which are going for upwards of $7 million.

Brazilian Interior Designer Joao Armentano and Paulo Bacchi from the Brazilian luxury furniture manufacturer Artefacto, joined forces to create customized interiors for the penthouses and they define their designs as “a breathtaking fusion of European flair and Brazilian sensuality.”

To celebrate this collaboration, The Related Group along with Krug Champagne hosted a private “Best of Brazil” event to unveil the designs. The renderings were showcased to a room full of VIPs which included Krug Champagne President & CEO Magareth Henriquez and the Executive Vice President of The Related Group Carlos Rosso.

Guests enjoyed a variety of delectable appetizers and sipped on Krug Champagne as they toasted to the new designs and Armentano’s growing influence in the Miami market. Armentano’s practical, beautiful and intelligent style has made him one of the most sought after Brazilian designers and made him a perfect fit for this project. That evening Rosso appropriately described his work as “half bohemian and half luxury”.

“We know that our buyers crave relaxed elegance and want to come home to a place of quiet luxury, which is exactly what he delivers,”said Rosso. His unique style combined with Artefacto’s established reputation for creating masterful work was exactly what The Related Group was looking for.

“Working with Joao and Paulo was fantastic; they are both monumental names in Brazilian design. Bringing them to our team for this project really helped us tap into what our Brazilian buyers want,”added Rosso.

(Left to Right) Joao Armentano, Margareth Henriquez, Carlos Rosso, Paulo Bacchi. Photo Courtesy Orlando L. Garcia.

The end results were incredibly detailed renderings that depicted rooms with exquisitely designed furniture, distinctive lighting, and a wide array of eclectic accessories; each perfectly placed to complete the room’s ambience. Future penthouse residences will find themselves in a spacious home that captures the vibrant spirit and relaxed luxury of Miami Beach.

For Bacchi, this collaboration was an extremely rewarding experience. Working with talented designers like Armentano to or- chestrate a grand vision for a property like Marea represents the very essence of what he enjoys most about the work that he does.

“Joao brings a fresh, sophisticated aesthetic to Miami. He uses vibrant tones and textures to infuse each space he envisions with a unique panache,” said Bacchi.

Armentano’s experience working on this project was also very rewarding but very intense. It strengthened his existing bond between Artefacto and The Related Group.

“The Related Group is one of the best groups around the world. I worked for them in Brazil and now in the USA. Their works are perfect,” said Armentano. “Artefacto is like my second home. Mr. Paulo Bacchi is doing a very important and good job. I love their designs and the quality.”

Armentano knows good design and quality when he sees it. He’s been developing architectural projects, and interior decoration in the residential, commercial, corporate, and hospitality segments for more than 30 years. His works have been featured in prominent magazines, books, and exhibits and he is considered a design super star in his native Brazil. Now the US is starting to catch on. Armentano ‘s expansion to Miami first occurred when Bacchi brought him along with fellow Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar to work on other luxury developments like Paraiso Bay and 1 Hotel & Homes.


Becoming a designer was more of an involuntary act than it was a conscience decision; his career chose him. He remembers always being drawn to objects with natural lines and his mind was always looking for ways to improve on things that would make living life better. A career in design came naturally and till this day he takes pride in expressing that he has never ‘worked’ a day in his life. Even Armentano’s idea of ‘free time’ still involves ‘work’.

“I love to go to my office and go around construction sites. This is my life, this is my pleasure,” he said. He prefers to be at work where he can generate new ideas, embrace new projects, and face new challenges.

Armentano draws inspiration from his surroundings and believes that artists have to keep an eye open for the special moments and opportunities that can evolve into fresh new ideas.

“We are always looking for a special moment. Naturally I’m very lucky! I have several special moments in my life; sunsets, sunrises, friends, birds, and the perfect family. Thank God! I’m so lucky to have these special conditions. So it’s easy to create, to make something special, and to work with pleasure. It’s the perfect way,” said Armentano.

Armentano has big dreams for the future and will continuously tap into special moments for future projects. Though he doesn’t have something specific he would like to work on next; the bigger picture of what he envisions will serve a greater and noble purpose.

“You know, we live in a very big world. My dream (and I think everybody’s dream) will be to create a project; something smart, intelligent and practical for people without good financial situations. I’m trying to do something economic and very intelligent to bring better living conditions to people that live in bad conditions; It’s my dream.”

Click here to view post on the Sept/Oct 2014 issue.

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