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Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato

  • 01:00 - 15 September, 2011
Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato
Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato, © Djan Chu
© Djan Chu

© Djan Chu © Djan Chu © Djan Chu © Djan Chu +32

Before
Before

From the architect. It is a small construction with an equally simple program:A caretaker's house of a property on an island on the North coast of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The site, at 100 meters above sea level, next to two enormous rocks, already had the old caretaker's house, one-story house with stone walls and clay roof tiles.

Floor Plans
Floor Plans

Stair Detail Section D Site Plan Section C +32

The new building has 2 floors, a white suspended box, where the bedroom is and it is possible to see the continent and the São Sebastião Channel. Under it, at street level, are the living room, kitchen and bathroom.

© Djan Chu
© Djan Chu

The wood used on some doors and windows, staircase, shelves and furniture are leftovers of material used to make scaffoldings and molds for the white box reinforced concrete structure.The 3.00 m x 5.00 m white box is supported on one side by an existing retaining wall and on the other by a wall built with stones, a characteristic of local constructions.

This movement shapes the other 3 spaces of the construction, the access yard, between the box and the retaining wall that curves following the parking lot ramp's floor, the courtyard, between the box and the rock and the void created under the box, where the living room is.The impact caused by the image of concise volume, in comparison with the large rock's amorphous exuberance, gives it a strange sensation.

© Djan Chu
© Djan Chu

During the work, the caretaker Zé Maria, still not content with his future living quarters, compared it with a can of sardines, a container as those he sees passing through the channel or even a cooler, like those used by beachgoers to carry beer.

© Djan Chu
© Djan Chu
© Djan Chu
© Djan Chu
Cite: "Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato" 15 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/18262/box-house-alan-chu-and-cristiano-kato/>
Read comments

66 Comments

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John-David Carling · November 29, 2012

I want one

Jason Kinsella · September 03, 2012

I love EVERYTHING about this — http://t.co/EqgHDBlU #Architecture

ERLING BERG · August 31, 2012

I love EVERYTHING about this — http://t.co/EqgHDBlU #Architecture

Christian Bielke · August 31, 2012

I love EVERYTHING about this — http://t.co/EqgHDBlU #Architecture

Rafael Jaquez · August 31, 2012

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/yPCOIu1W vía @archdaily

Suiteurbana · May 11, 2012

Una casinha no morro #Brasil http://t.co/pjlrvXyW @anxelota @chapulino2

osman ghaffar · February 21, 2012

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/iTyZ6pmH vía @archdaily

chinneo lhungdim · February 21, 2012

RT @aygunmetin: Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/FPifwYw7 via @archdaily

Marcos Aquino · February 21, 2012

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/5GUI248l via @archdaily

metin aygün · February 21, 2012

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/Cjh0VHKL via @archdaily

iDivide Walls · December 21, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/V8RDbh8k via @archdaily

kreado.co.uk · September 21, 2011

http://t.co/mB4dNeKO via @archdaily #architecture

mauro parolo · September 21, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/DPu05uj3 via @archdaily #architecture

Compartilhe Sampa · September 20, 2011

[link] Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://j.mp/oKeWk3

Mughsin · September 19, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato http://t.co/lznkhb3F via @archdaily.. i&#39d be a caretaker if i could live here

Fred B. Thompson · September 18, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/BwT5dF0Y via @archdaily

L. Giovanni E. G. · September 17, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | http://t.co/jue6BWOS

Dave Witso · September 17, 2011

As a piece of architectural sculpture this is quite dramatic and I like the contrasting textures and volumes. The new building takes full advantage of the views and the breezes in ways that the cottage does not. However, without seeing the interior of the previous cottage I can make no determination of any improvement in utility for the resident. I doubt there is enough storage space and there certainly isn’t any place to eat a sit down meal or socialize with friends inside. I would want to see this as lived in before rendering a judgment, but it seems that in the design the Architectural taste of the owner has trumped the residentail needs of his employee.

Boby · September 17, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato http://t.co/1ZTmnr02 #architecture

António · September 17, 2011

Quando vi pela primeira vez a foto do vosso projecto (before and after),pensei que era um rectângulo em cinza feito pelo photoshop para preencher qualquer coisa.
Há questões aqui de vária ordem que há que ter em conta:
Primeiro, existe o contexto e, claramente a forma encontrada aqui não o respeita.
Segundo, essa fachada completamente cega...se calhar leva-me a pensar que o projecto foi pouco pensado e precisava de mais trabalho porque, claramente têm uma vista que não está a ser explorada.
Terceiro, o claro desrespeito por uma "arquitectura", ainda que vernacular mas, quanto a mim, mais bem integrada na paisagem.
Quando o conceito não é bem explorado como é este o caso, arriscamo-nos a cair na "Arquitectura que cabería em qualquer lado" e receio que seja este o caso.

Cormac Phalen · September 17, 2011

There is a FB debate going on about the before & after preference, whats yours - Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato http://me.lt/1T4DP

carina van heerden · September 16, 2011

When I grow up, I want to live in a gray box http://t.co/8aEMq9i0

linetrio · September 16, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato http://t.co/1ZTmnr02 #architecture

RENarch · September 16, 2011

Box House / Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato | ArchDaily http://t.co/FV15J2qI via @archdaily

jan adegeest · September 15, 2011

This is an amazing design. The best reinterpretation the old place could have wished for, and i love the TV shot with the reflection of the large window, it shows to me the fun the architect / photographer had working on this place . Indeed the best box in a long time.

jules · December 29, 2010

I love this design. Purely unnatural clean manmade lines working against the rugged beauty and warmth of the existing stone. This is what creates such an impact. A triumph in my opinion, and to all those that say it is sad the old house was lost - how do you know there wasn't an even older one there before!

Pedrovski · September 03, 2010

The caretaker said it all...

"During the work, the caretaker Zé Maria, still not content with his future living quarters, compared it with a can of sardines, a container as those he sees passing through the channel or even a cooler, like those used by beachgoers to carry beer."

JChris d'urbanbike · June 01, 2010

RT @FineProperties: Loving the &#39Box House&#39 http://ow.ly/1RCiK #architecture (via @Architopik) M&#39en souviens, projet sympa et simple

Architopik · June 01, 2010

RT @FineProperties: Loving the &#39Box House&#39 http://ow.ly/1RCiK #architecture

at · May 30, 2010

the cannon is really cool

Nelcia Beatriz · May 30, 2010

RT @FineProperties: Loving the &#39Box House&#39 http://ow.ly/1RCiK #architecture

Nick Downes · May 30, 2010

Loving the &#39Box House&#39 http://ow.ly/1RCiK #architecture

carol gay · January 21, 2010

I have been there.It is really amazing.Simple,well inserted.Crazy.Love it!!

fhs · October 29, 2009

how surpised at first image shown above. the house just like ignore everything arround. the white wall block the view images, kinda bad feeling about it. i rather like if the building comes up as an element that keep the balance between buliding and environment. too much contrast about the element, color, material. in my opinion the white box of concrete just barely move from the urban house, no reason and no history.
view from side really disturb me, thats all...
anyway good design...

Ralf · June 14, 2009

Nice project

Lindsay · May 26, 2009

I like this a lot. The original house, while completely charming, would be down instantly in a tremor. I lived in stone house that size in Greece for a winter and it's easy to be nostalgic about it until you try it... I really like this project - it has a warm-climate, coastal feel. May not exactly be vernacular, but it feels open and fresh and functional. It looks to me as if many of the original stones were used, and it's pretty close to the original footprint. The one thing that gives me pause is that the future inhabitant felt it looked like a cooler - though like the villagers where I lived, I bet he ultimately appreciated the improvements. The stairway inside is beautiful - that mix of simple planks and concrete, flanked by the stone walls, is fantastic.

maya · May 10, 2009

it's so nice communicating in distance.that's a good job!

DeRossi - BRASIL · April 15, 2009

Maravilhoso! Um casulo (cápsula) de morar!
Um dos projetos mais fantásticos que vi nos últimos tempos...

Arturo · April 14, 2009

Certainly "The new" just for the sake of it is not good, but also de old just because exists doesn't make it better. but my main concern is on the last part of the description

"compared it with a can of sardines, a container as those he sees passing through the channel or even a cooler, like those used by beachgoers to carry beer." so what the purpose of architecture that doesn't serves the person, it certainly a beautiful design and a very clever use of the space but then... is the person's opinion irrelevant?

Bobo · April 13, 2009

Withut disturbing Gropius, I cannot do without saying that this is pure and crazy bullshit... no one will ever be able to convince me that a ugly CUBE OF CONCRETE crapped in a beautiful and wild environment is "simple and elegant".. but are you crazy or what? A CUBE OF CONCRETE is a "particularly a nice project"??? ...and may be the people around you think that you are a sentient being... of course, whenever you're not full of dope...

majchers · April 09, 2009

No doubt the old house had its own charm (just this small cannon alone is a marvel) but what the architect did here is one of a kind creation and a beauty on its own! Congrats again guys. I love it!

Carl · April 09, 2009

Only negative thing I can imagine is that the caretakers income probably is 1/100th of the expenses put into the building.

Jeison · April 09, 2009

This house is located in Ilhabela, so it´s probably a weekend home, not intended for permanent living...

rui14564 · April 09, 2009

Vale a pena ver. http://tinyurl.com/c37pwq

Rokas · April 09, 2009

I think,Benjamin,if there was any possibility to preserve the existing structure,the client (I think),maybe wished the same thing as you.But-sad but true-in my own practice-such structures cant hold anything-they are like the paper bags-holds their weight till you dont touch them.:(

Phillipe Donato · April 09, 2009

Amazing project , perfect integration with the beautiful landscape . I really like living in such a minimalist space. It's more than a lifestyle its an ideology.

Troy Lemieur · April 09, 2009

Haha... Tyler, awesome comment. Sooooo true.
Benjamin - have YOU tried living in that small of a space? Many people have different lifestyles. Some people spend most of their time away from home, (off the computer), and are only in their homes to sleep, groom, and eat.
I actually admire the preserve it takes for one to live in such minimalist conditions. It has the potential to be a great thing.
The reason this got past the drawings and actually built was because the client approved them. He obviously knew what he was getting.

alejandro · April 09, 2009

It is a great project now... but in a few years, it will be beautiful

Benjamin · April 09, 2009

Even if its old and “warm”,still-would you like to live in the house which have 10 squere metres?Havent tried?If so-dont speak so nostalgically abouth the past.

...so ur telling me the architect wasn't good enough to increase the living area of the house and interiors but also keep the existing history of the old structure too... possibly they needed a more experienced architect on the job

majchers · April 09, 2009

Great project. Congratulations to the designer(s). I can not wait till it ages and blends in with the rock the way the old one was.

Tyler · April 08, 2009

yes mike,
we need to preserve ancient structures that are inefficient, and would probably cost more to rennovate than just tearing down and starting over. duh....

p.s. i believe the foundation was preserved or at least the footprint, and i assume keeping traces of the original structure was kept in mind when designing the new house.

breeree · April 08, 2009

Late night film projections on the side!

mike · April 08, 2009

"old house is much more better than the new one"
^ seriously?

heath · April 08, 2009

i am really sad about this project.
i think the old house is much more better than the new one.

Rokas · April 08, 2009

Agree with Partick,disagree with Benjamin.
Even if its old and "warm",still-would you like to live in the house which have 10 squere metres?Havent tried?If so-dont speak so nostalgically abouth the past.The junctaposition bentween the past,"natural"elements, and the new one was worth to do :D

Partick Bateman · April 08, 2009

Beautiful, i absolutely love this.
So simple and elegant, the juxtapostition of materials is excellent. LOVE IT!!

Antti · April 08, 2009

Very nice. Best box in a long time. The interiors open up to the outside spaces very beautifully and the ground level stone wall acts as a good reference to the old structure.

waigtal · April 08, 2009

interesting

AAA · April 08, 2009

here someone put a TV over the history a place, the old house was much better than the new, the TV could be in any place less than this.
it's a nice volum but, i'm sorry i think your kill a peace something.
i agree bejamin SAD.

Jose · May 30, 2010 08:01 AM

you are a joke right?

Benjamin · April 08, 2009

I'd much prefer the old house rich with its history to stay there... now there is no trace of what used to be... sad

mvb · September 17, 2011 11:36 AM

If the client wanted to continue living in the old house, he had not hired any architect.

sko · April 08, 2009

nice photo!

Terry Glenn Phipps · April 07, 2009

Architecture that plays off of the contrasts between nature, the plasticity of materials like concrete, and stone texture will never go out of style. These are the lessons taught, in particular, by Walter Gropius.

This is particularly a nice project because it is so concise, not quite the intellectual rigor of the Cabanon but perfectly wonderful. The kitchen living space and its use of recycled materials is absolutely spot on.

One of my favorite projects on Arch. Daily in a long time.

Terry Glenn Phipps

Jerrick · August 31, 2012 12:43 AM

You could have just said "One of my favorite projects on Arch. Daily in a long time" and that would have been sufficient. Douche.

brianbuchalski · April 07, 2009

wow...nice.

Lucas Gray · April 07, 2009

This is a cute little project. I love small scale design.

···

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