Jorge Zalszupin’s Brazilian Modernist Design

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PO-801 Armchair designed in 1960


Known today as one of the most influential figures in the Brazilian modernist movement, architect / furniture designer Jorge Zalszupin began his journey as a Jew in 1922 Poland. As World War II brought the threat of Nazis to his door, the young Zalszupin sought refuge in Romania where he would go on to earn a degree in architecture. From there he was off to Paris where he worked until 1949, when he boarded a boat headed for Rio de Janiero with no more than a motorcycle, his architecture diploma, a French magazine praising Brazilian architecture and a return ticket in hand. As luck would have it, Zalszupin was offered a job in a São Paulo architecture firm before getting a chance to use his return ticket.

By 1953, private architecture projects led to clients in need of furniture and by 1955 Zalszupin founded the famed furniture design collective L’Atelier, alongside designers Julio Katinski, Oswaldo Mellone and Paulo Jorge Pedreira. As the boom of the utopic Brasillia days (1960s and 70s) rolled in, virtually every new building found a least one of L’Atelier’s furnishings within its walls – establishing the company as a benchmark in the world of modernist furniture. Today, Zalszupin’s furnishings in particular have become widely known and touted for their graceful lines, strong use of local woods, and impeccable detailing and woodworking…


JZ Tea Trolley designed in 1950


Veranda Armchair


Romana Coffee Table designed in 1960


Senior Armchair designed in 1950


Designed years ago in honor of Zalszupin’s granddaughter, the Adriana Armchair just came to market in 2013. The seat combines suede upholstery, wood and hints of brass.


Veronica Armchair designed in 2010 – the first piece of furniture created by Zalszupin since the 1960’s!


Paulistana Armchair designed in 1960



102 Bench designed in 1960


 Petalas Coffee Table designed in 1962


While Zalszupin ceased designing new pieces in the 1960s, since 2005, demand for the quality, beauty and historical significance of his furnishings has resulted in a number of his pieces making their way back into production. In 2010, Zalszupin expanded his collection with the addition of the Veronica Armchair – his first new design in half a century. He also debuted an older never seen before design in 2013, with the launch of the  Adriana Armchair.  To view more of Zalszupin’s work, I recommend a visit to Espasso, where you can view not only Jorge’s line of furnishings but also Espasso’s rich collection of modern and contemporary furnishings made exclusively by Brazilian designers.



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