April 1, 2021

Matheus Farah e Manoel Maia Arquitetura Designs São Paulo Chocolate Shop With Efficiency in Mind

At Dengo, a 16,000-square-foot chocolate concept store in São Paulo by Matheus Farah e Manoel Maia Arquitetura, native peroba do campo, or mahogany, composes the table bases, case­goods, and bar face in the Meu Dengo station, where customers can customize ingredients. Photography by Fran Parente.

Its 120K Instagram followers is one indication that Dengo is a producer of world-changing chocolate, or, for those fluent in Portuguese, Chocolate com sabor de mudar o mundo, the Brazilian company’s slogan. Its cocoa comes from trees in sustainably managed agroforests, and the Bahia farmers from which the beans are acquired are fairly paid. Matheus Farah e Manoel Maia Arquitetura was equally conscientious in its design of Dengo’s first freestanding site, a four-story concept store in São Paulo that also happens to be the country’s tallest wooden building. And that wood is engineered CLT, which is prefabricated, thermally efficient, and easy to install, reducing project costs, duration, and waste. Also noteworthy is the flooring, particularly in the site’s factory, shop, and custom-chocolate station; it’s called caquinhos, or little pieces, and consists of re-constituted shards of broken red ceramic. It was a popular style in 1940s and ’50s São Paulo homes but also nods to Dengo’s best-selling product: Quebra-Quebra, big bars of chocolate that can be broken into many pieces for sharing—sweet and affectionate, which just happens to be the Bahia translation of dengo

The framework, columns, and some ceilings are engineered CLT. Photography by Fran Parente.
The space features details throughout that showcase the evolution of cocoa into chocolate. Photography by Fran Parente.
In the factory, a live Fenix palm stands under the skylights atop flooring of re-constituted broken ceramic. Photography by Fran Parente.

Read next: Studio BANAA Deconstructs the Cocoa Bean for a San Francisco Chocolate Shop

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