Grand designs

Set in the grounds of a lush park, Palácio Tangará in Brazil is raising the bar when it comes to luxury. Alex Moore meets the interior designer whose opulent “haute-couture” vision has brought the imposing mansion to life.

Striking contemporary art in the Parque Lounge


In a city famous for world-leading design and architecture, opening an impressive hotel that pays tribute to São Paulo’s rich cultural heritage while forging its own identity is quite a challenge. Location helps, of course, and it’s hard to think of a better spot for it than the lush, 26-acre Parque Burle Marx – the magnum opus of the great Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. It also helps that the edifice in which the Palácio Tangará would find a home is as palatial as the new establishment’s name suggests.

One of Brazil’s most prominent contemporary architects and interior designers, Patricia Anastassiadis, was tasked with bringing the hotel to life. She designed and furnished all the social areas, including the lobby, bar, spa, restaurants, meeting rooms and ballroom, while São Paulo company Bick Simonato – responsible for kitting out some of New York’s most stylish penthouses – was responsible for creating the look of the bedrooms, suites and corridors.

The elegant minimalism of the Presidential Suite


The imposing foyer of the Crystal Ballroom


The hotel in its park location


Anastassiadis was inspired by the palette of neoclassicist French artist Jean-Baptiste Debret, who depicted the people of 18th-century Brazil in lithographs. Golds, browns and greys in the lobby feel sophisticatedly decadent, in keeping with the enormous ower arrangements, marble floors, grand piano and whimsical objets d’art.

Her approach to architecture has been described as haute couture, largely because of the emphasis she places on maximalist decoration.

“The interiors were carefully planned, and I started with artworks,” says Anastassiadis. “I don’t believe in adding art as an afterthought.”

One such example, in the showpiece glass-fronted wine cellar, is Mesa Raiz, by the woodworker Pedro Petry. An ornamental tasting table, it is made from the roots of a native pequia tree. Elsewhere, the gold-leaf installation by Laura Vinci hanging above the reception is a wonderful hint of the splendour to come, eclipsed only by the monumental chandelier, also by Vinci, downstairs in the ballroom.

Artworks inspired by nature in the Burle Bar


Architectural lines create an elegant mood in the Royal Suite


The chic Prestige Suite


Interior designer Patricia Anastassiadis


Special care has been taken to ensure the choices of artwork are contemporary in style and varied in medium. Maps, sculptures, photography and tapestries by a number of local artists, including Ana Amélia Genioli, Fernando Arias, Artur Lescher and Araquém Alcântara, pay tribute to Brazil’s rich artistic heritage while respecting the ambience of glamour and elegance that is typical of other properties within the Oetker Collection.

“I wanted to bring the work of these artists to Tangará to represent Parque Burle Marx’s abundant nature,” explains Anastassiadis.

In doing so, she has created a synergy between the tropical milieu and the polished interiors that has made the hotel an extension of the park itself. Roberto Burle Marx himself would surely approve.

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