Architect: Vazio S/A
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Project Team: Carlos M Teixeira (Principal Architect); Leonardo Rodrigues, Ligia Milagres
Project Area: 480 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Vazio S/A: Leonardo Finnoti, Eduardo Eckenfels, Carlos M Teixeira
All the rooms (living rooms and bedrooms) face the morning sun and are protected by metal grilles that work as sun shades and elements to provide privacy vis-à-vis the close neighbors. Kitchen and toilets face the (hot) west side, yet a building block 6m away protect them from the west considerably.
285 Montevideo is a cobblestone as a consequence of the envelope determined by the strict local Building Regulations. An apartment has a larger plan (5th floor), with the cantilever toward the only side of the volume not bounded by the Building Regulations (the backyard). In section, the project explores the maximum height allowed by the Regulations and generates differentiated ceiling heights, with three-step stairs inside the rooms resembling the internal spaces of a house; and a 3m cantilever accentuating the 5th floor’s differences (larger windows, larger ceiling height, larger bedroom, balcony, etc).
The façade has planting boxes with white drainage pipes; the grilles sunshades also working as support for the fountainbushes’ (Russelia equisetiformis) growth.
The plan is very conventional and designed for a traditional family, an important fact in a city rather closed to new ideas, such as Belo Horizonte, Brazil.