Ruy Ohtake – Architect
Hotel Unique – Sao Paulo
In the labyrinth of towers that characterize Sao Paulo, one of the city’s 2,500 buildings stands out from all the others. Its contours invoke all sorts of images. Some people see it as a slice of watermelon, others as a half moon or the hull of a ship with portholes for windows, and still others as a work of architecture worthy of a contemporary museum. It is, in actual fact, the Hotel Unique, created by the celebrated architect, Ruy Ohtake, who has this to say about his creation:
What was your guiding theme for this project ?
“My main concern for the Unique was to make it a hotel destined to last not just for years but for decades. The first requirement for a hotel to become important is for the architecture to be different, beautiful, and for it to become a reference.”
What are the architectural particularities of the hotel ?
“For the Unique hotel, I used an interesting material for the facade. They’re copper plates…copper plates with three shades of green so as to avoid making the entire facade uniform. The three nuances give the façade a chromatic movement. When I designed it, I imagined an inverted arc, which corresponded to my search for something innovative. It’s an avant-garde concept, a surprise and a reference for the city of Sao Paulo, as well as an international reference in terms of a hotel.
What is your greatest creation?
Here, at the Hotel Unique, one of the places I like the most is the bar of the reception area with its shelves up to the ceiling. Actually, the shelf with all the whisky and wine bottles leans forward. The other day, I met a group of Americans. One of them asked me : ‘What if you want a drink from a bottle on the top shelf?’ I answered : ‘It’s self-service. You need only climb up and help yourself! »