Jorge Zalszupin (b. 1922), a native of Warsaw, Poland, studied architecture at Bucharest’s Ecole des Beaux Arts. While working as an architect in Paris, he found inspiration in articles about Brazilians Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx and immigrated to Brazil. Zalszupin’s professional life took off in the Rio de Janeiro studio of Polish-speaking architect Luciano Korngold though he eventually settled in Sao Paulo, where he began designing furniture.
In 1959, Zalszupin started the furniture firm L’Atelier. Emphasizing a high level of craftsmanship, L’Atelier saw near-immediate success and eventually had two factories producing his designs.
Zalszupin was heavily inspired by Danish design and while he was known for his refined work in jacaranda and other Brazilian woods, he also expanded his repertoire to include plastics. L’Atelier thrived in Brazil, having ten shops at the height of Zalszupin’s career. His furniture also won numerous commissions, including in Brasilia. Jorge Zalszupin is considered one of Brazil’s most important designers of the twentieth century.