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01 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan Header Option 02


The Design Diaries
- Marcio Kogan

Architecture, Design Diaries

Words Vidula KotianPhotographs Fernando GuerraDate 15 December 2020

Considered one of the most important contemporary architects of Brazil, Marcio Kogan started his career as a filmmaker until he shot his first long feature that bankrupted him and luckily for us, led him down the path of architecture. The studio he founded MK27 is a collaborative effort where each of the 30 architects takes equal part in every phase of the project, and whose work involves industrial design apart from elements of cinematography and traditional architecture. The result is a highly personal client-architect relationship with an intense attention to detail whereby each designer functions as a craftsman as seen in the new hospitality project, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, a groundbreaking hotel where guests’ dichotomous needs for community and connection with nature is expressed through the architecture.

“We escalate the textures and emotions from 0 to 100, from soft shadows to overwhelming light. It’s a rhythm with contrast, pauses and transparencies.”

Marcio Kogan

02 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan Patina Maldives

Patina Maldives The building's lines never break the horizon

Design style

A reimagining of Brazilian modernism with extreme attention to detail, pure volumes, and a focus on formal simplicity.


Studio MK27 has won more than 250 national and international awards such as Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB), São Paulo Architectural Biennial, WAF, Architectural Review, Buenos Aires Ibero-americana Architectural Biennial, Wallpaper Design Award, and Prix Versailles.

How filmmaking influenced his architecture

“The cinematographic proportions of the widescreen, the light, the constant emotion demanded by the movie, the teamwork, and perhaps many other things that have filtered into my soul.”

What you didn’t know

Kogan’s father was a modernist architect engineer in São Paulo in the 1950s. Even though Aron passed away when Kogan was just eight years old, he left him with a lasting passion for architecture.

Designers he admires

Mies van der Rohe for the proportions of his projects such as the Barcelona pavilion—“the masterpiece of architectural history.” Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernists Vilanova Artigas, Lucio Costa, and the very best Lina Bo Bardi “who deserved more notoriety than she got”.

03 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Micasa A multipurpose annex to a store complex in São Paulo

04 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Micasa An Isamu Noguchi lamp punctuates the double symmetry of the space

05 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Somosagua A gated community on the outskirts of Madrid

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Somosaguas The mini wave and white brick façades contrast with the wooden fences that delimit the paths

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Somosaguas Four different sized houses were designed with 21 configurations

What is the MK27 design DNA?

Our DNA is to try to keep it simple, and that takes a lot of effort.

How do you ensure a unique offering such as Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, in such a crowded market?

I guess Patina Maldives is unique in the region: it provides an opportunity to be together in isolation. It is one of the most remote places on earth and still, a place designed for people to see and meet with each other. Patina Maldives embraces our natural conflicts: desire for peace and party; for nature and design; technology and rusticity; self-indulgence and deep reflections; bare foot and high heels.

09 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Jungle House The main volume of the house is elevated and seems built into the topography

10 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Casa Planar The rooftop is the fifth facade of the house

11 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Casa Planar The structure has a Gold Certification by the Green Building Council

Are there any trends that you see potentially altering the industry?

We see a growing attention to the connection with the place and culture, the importance of uniqueness and authenticity. The special role of wellness, places to exercise and meditate, a generous bathing room with a view. And most recently, of course, the need for open-air spaces, a deep integration of inside-out, spaces that are welcoming and poetic, rather than sculptures. We also see it as an ultimate stage for voyeurism, for observation of ourselves from a distance, and therefore to reconnect with ourselves and the others. I see a search for diversity, for empathy with the other and our environment, the need for quiet solutions to our problems.

What is the greatest misconception about hospitality design?

Extravagance. Design needs to speak low; we need to dream higher.

12 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Sand House The building prioritizes open spaces to closed ones

13 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan

Sand House The entire structure is covered by a rustic eucalyptus pergola

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Nature takes over The dissolution of architecture into its natural surroundings

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A suspended atmosphere Leaves split the sunrays creating a poetic rain of shadows

Why did you think it was important for the design of Patina Maldives to have such a strong connection to nature?

Lelé, one of the least famous brilliant Brazilian architects once said: the role of architecture is to avoid disaster. In the Maldives, there is sand, skies, and ocean—all architecture can do is humbly filter the lights, frame the views, creating different narratives as one strolls around the magnificent surroundings.

Where do you personally think is the best spot on the resort?

I see a few moments of subtlety and emotion: the view of the framed sky at the very center of the James Turrell pavilion. The delicate presence of a tiny flower stand, as you enter the village. A low chair under a tree shadow, overlooking the most beautiful bright shade of blue water in the world, listening to Chet Baker. Can it get any better?

16 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan Patina Maldives

Patina Maldives Aerial view

17 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan Patina Maldives

Island living A temporary home in the exuberant infinite blues

18 Design Diaries Marcio Kogan Patina Maldives

Low and elegant The architecture is dematerialized, putting the people at the center of the experience

Featured Hotels

T Patina Maldives Fari Islands (2)

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

North Malé Atoll, Maldives

Featured Hotels

T Patina Maldives Fari Islands (2)

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

Maldives, North Malé Atoll
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