Skip navigation

On my way to Vila Madalena (see earlier post here), I (Chris) first took the metro to Faria Lima and stopped by the Instituto Tomie Ohtake.


This cultural institute, built by Ruy Ohtake – a prominent São Paulo’s contemporary architect, is dedicated to his Japanese-born naturalized Brazilian mother, Tomie Ohtake, one of São Paulo’s most revered artists. She is best known for her work in geometric abstraction.


Opened in November 2001, the cultural center occupies two large floors, one of which houses the education area, with four studios, space for seminars, and a Great Hall.


Level 1 with various art pieces that invite participation of the viewer.


Level 2


One of the installations at the institute – monochrome and sound installation  – a bit like Olafur Eliasson’s work.


The institute also has a restaurant Santinho, a bookstore and a shop for design objects.


Tomie Ohtake celebrated her 100th birthday soon after I left Sap Paulo – in November 2013. The Instituto is running the “Gesto e Razao Geometrica” (Gesture and Geometric Reason) exhibition with some 80 works — mainly paintings — until February 2.




If I was not pressed for time, I would have stayed for their lunch buffet. The staff had a group meeting before settling down at their station.


Ruy Ohtake also built this very colorful commercial building next to the institute. I wonder what is inside that scoop-like structure at the top.


The main entrance to the commercial building is in metallic pink. I went in hoping that there was an internal passage leading to the cultural institute. The reception told me to go outside and around the building to find the other entrance.


Ruy Ohtake is known for his half-moon-shaped Hotel Unique. We were originally booked to stay there but changed our reservation due to its distance from our meeting. We stayed somewhere less dramatic – see post here.

Below is a picture of Hotel Unique taken from Wikipedia.


The mother and son Ohtakes are known for their use of colors and curved metal expressively in both architecture and sculpture. I hope to see more of their works.



If you see any ads below here, we have nothing to do with it.



  1. Thank you for these pictures. I hope you and Sue had a great Holiday!

    • Hi Susie. Thanks for the comments. C

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: