Clarissa Strauss graduated in Architecture and Urbanism in 1989 and began her career at the Augusto Romano Burelli architecture studio in the city of Udine, Italy – where she also specialized in furniture design at the Politecnico di Milano. Back in Brazil, between 1993 and 2001 she has worked as coordinator of a large architecture office in São Paulo. In 2001, Atelier Clarissa Strauss was born, which began to sign transformative and conscious authorial projects, which aim to open the doors to living well.
Design in Lisbon: How did the opportunity to sign this interior project in Cascais arise?
Clarissa Strauss: A couple of long-time Atelier clients bought an apartment in Cascais and asked us to develop this project.
DL: How do you describe it and to what extent is it unique?
CS: A project with a contagious, colorful energy, designed to be a stage for family interaction, focused on the personality of the clients, but also on the quality of the furniture, practicality, functionality, comfort and aesthetics.
DL: What particularities did this project have? And what is the biggest challenge you have encountered?
CS: The biggest challenge was defining the layout of the room, as we had to prioritize the generous view and place the sofas, a table and, at the same time, a television and the home cinema system in a fully glazed location. QuartoSala suggested a delicate piece that combined aesthetics and functionality, and it turned out to be the perfect solution.
DL: This project has a lot of color. What is your relationship with this element?
CS: I really like working with colors and when the client is also aligned with my vision, I end up exploring all the possibilities in a conscious and also very intuitive way.
DL: How does your creative process usually start? Where do you find inspiration?
CS: I work intuitively and using all the technical aspects acquired in more than 30 years of practice on very demanding projects. I find inspiration in art, nature and the trips I take around the world. Dance, watercolor and textile art also inspire me and are part of my life and daily life.
DL: Architecture and Interior Design: how do the two disciplines relate to you?
CS: They are totally linked. When I design I am already thinking about interior design and decoration, which makes it much easier and optimizes in terms of time and costs for the client.
DL: Cascais is a place with a very special light. How important is natural light in interiors?
CS: The light in Cascais is incredible and this apartment is truly a bright space and the sunset is unmissable. Natural light is synonymous with joy and good mood. Sustainability is another important factor: the less we use artificial light the better.
DL: Was it difficult to work in a country you didn’t know and how do you describe your collaboration with QuartoSala on this project?
CS: Working outside Brazil is always challenging and at the same time stimulating, as it involves coming into contact with different cultures and looking for new partnerships so that the entire process flows at the ideal pace. Before our departure from Brazil, I scheduled a visit to QuartoSala, which was recommended to us as a reference in the sector in Portugal, which was confirmed shortly after our first meeting. QuartoSala surprised us throughout the process: they met all the deadlines for the work and also contributed with the right solutions for the project, with the delivery and installation of furniture, works of art, audio, video, Internet installations, as well as a bed , table and bath. And when our clients arrived to use the apartment for the first time, they found the delicacy of having the fridge with a wonderful breakfast!
The light in Cascais is incredible and this apartment is truly a bright space and the sunset is unmissable. Natural light is synonymous with joy and good mood. Sustainability is another important factor: the less we use artificial light the better.
DL: What piece would you highlight in this project?
CS: I love Edra’s two sofas, they are beautiful, contemporary, super technological and ethical.
DL: At this point in your life would Lisbon be a city to live in or visit?
CS: It would be great to be able to spend more time in Lisbon. As I am a European citizen, I could easily cement my professional life between the two countries and further strengthen the connection between Brazil and Portugal.
DL: Common points and biggest differences between working in Lisbon and São Paulo?
CS: I would like to have a team like QuartoSala here, who execute our project from beginning to end, in a centralized and extremely professional way. Here, we hire teams each in their own specialty, generating a much greater administrative demand.
DL: What advice would you give to an architect who has the opportunity to develop an interior project in Portugal?
CS: If you work with QuartoSala you can be sure that you will have peace of mind and your client will be very happy.
DL: What ties did you have with Lisbon after this experience?
CS: Strong bonds of friendship with QuartoSala employees and affection for Lisbon, which has always welcomed me with open arms.
Clarissa Strauss graduated in Architecture and Urbanism in 1989 and began her career at the Augusto Romano Burelli architecture studio in the city of Udine, Italy – where she also specialized in furniture design at the Politecnico di Milano. Back in Brazil, between 1993 and 2001 she worked as a coordinator for a large architecture firm in São Paulo.
In 2001, Atelier Clarissa Strauss was born, which started to sign transformative and conscious authorial projects that always want to open the doors to living well.