Brazilian architects una arquitetos designed this house for friends. The region is located at the foot of the one thousand feet high Mantiqueira Mountain, on the border of São Paulo and Minas Gerais states.
The development is located along the banks of Piracaia Lake which belongs to the water supply system of the capital, and nearby the village of Lopo, which used to be an old route of Pilgrims from the 19th century.
Commonly encountered in these developments, are lush houses whose constructions occupy almost all of their sites, leaving no clear space between them. The architect’s attempt was to seek the opposite: get more integrated with the descending slope bringing about its attributes, as to keep the house protected from the surrounding constructions, searching for comfort. The process was realized in sections, using the balance of soil volume to fulfill the embankment.
The self-retaining stone walls were built using local techniques and rocks that were collected locally. They produce continuous framing walls. These walls broaden out and draw back as if in a movement that produce the internal spaces. Three interrelated courtyards are also formed outside the inner rooms of the house, bedrooms, living room and services.
From the street the house only display a view of a vertical white tower that holds the infrastructure (kitchen, chimneys, water tank and heaters) and a view to the 8x40 meter horizontal slab that reveals itself as one gets closer to the house to be a roof garden. This solution brings a high degree of comfort by naturally stabilizing the thermal intake of the house in this location where a high degree of temperature fluctuation occur between night and day.
A first plateau, where cars can be parked, was implemented on an intermediate level between the street and the house. This level can either take the visitor up to the roof garden or downstairs through a little tunnel leading to the entrance gateway and then to a courtyard outside the living room.
The design of the public areas is done to facilitate the mingling of many people in simultaneous activities, producing a party house with convivial spaces gathered around the fireplace and ovens and separated volumetrically with the help of the kitchen.
During the day these spaces open up completely, transforming into a vast porch. By night they can be enclosed up by glazed partitions, that preserve the visual contact with the vast beautiful view on the north side while keeping an opening to the courtyards on their southern side. Wooden sliding panels were designed on the other hand, for the bedrooms, in order to darken its interior and provide them with privacy.
The house opens up to a second grass-plateau leveled with the pool. Located at the edge, it pleases the eyes with visual continuity between its waters and the lake far in the distance. The construction of the pool and its solarium, holds underneath a pool table room, a storage and the pool equipment, which opens up to the third plateau.
Construction is landscape, geography, settings and history that melt away as an object.
Project Credits and Details:
year of completion 2008
Site area: 4383,25 sm
Built area: 433,79 sm
Architects: UNA arquitetos: Designers: Cristiane Muniz, Fábio Valentim, Fernanda Barbara and Fernando Viégas. Collaborators: Ana Paula de Castro, Jimmy Efrén Liendo terán, José Carlos Silveira Júnior, Maria Cristina Motta, Miguel Muralha and Sílio Almeida.
Structure: Stec do brasil
Installations: Caiuby Projetos e serviços de engenharia and P. d´Aprile consultoria e projetos
Lightning Project: Ricardo Heder
landscaping: soma arquitetos
Construction: Construtora Lomar
Photography: Bebete Viégas