Commissioned by a couple with three young children, this weekend house, located one and a half hours from São Paulo, is built on sloping terrain surrounded by an important Atlantic Forest reserve. The intervention began with the study of the topography and existing forest so that the house could be integrated into the natural landscape. The functional programme was based on different levels so as to allow the house to subtly adapt to the existing terrain and trees. Consequently circulation is in the form of an internal journey beginning at the access courtyard and reaching its destination at the terrace, with its sea view.
The project shows clear sectorisation: the larger timber-covered volume of the first floor houses the suites of the children and guests; the terrace accommodates the master suite and living areas. The sectorisation is identifiable through the contrast between the heavy longitudinal block, which appears to be attached to the topography, and the light, sloping canopy, supported by tubular-sectioned columns. This spatial organisation flexibilises the use of the residence since the terrace has been designed as an autonomous pavillion designed specifically for the couple, so that the entire first floor may be closed off, if required.
The sunscreen panels which clad the volume give privacy to the bedrooms and provide controlled natural illumination. The façade offers two contrasting readings, either emphasising the volume’s apparent hermetic characteristics, or alternatively displaying the pivoting windows in motion.
An important conceptual aspect of the project is the desire to provide the spaces with a certain ambiguity by attenuating the boundaries between „inside“ and „outside“. On the ground level, the large lobby allows the landscaping to encroach upon the stairs to question the boundaries between the interior and exterior. The upper floor is the most privileged part of the house, being favoured by outstanding views of the sea and beach which are less than one hundred metres away. The trapezoidal, wafer-thin canopy sits on large glass panes and forms a pavillion that shares the same floor as the large veranda around it. The interior and exterior pavings are one and the same. The canopy’s gentle slope and the orientation of the timber sunscreens guide the eye toward the horizon, where an infinity edge makes the swimming pool appear part of the ocean. The residential experience has been expanded in this way by employing design strategies which not only offer protection to the house itself, but also make it possible for the homeowner to fully enjoy the existing natural surroundings.