Pacaembu Residence / Nave Arquitetos

Architects: Nave Arquitetos Associados – Marcio N Coelho Jr, Roberto N Fialho, Valéria S Fialho
Location: Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brazil
Structural Consultant: Eng. Ricardo Zulques
Interior Design: Juliana Mammana
Landscape: Alexandre Fabbri Paisagismo – Alexandre Fabbri e Silvio Moreira Sanchez
Lighting Design: Foco Luz & Desenho – Junia Azenha e Ana Karina Camasmie
Design Year: 2005
Construction Year: 2006
Site Area: 637 sqm
Constructed Area: 380 sqm
Photographer: Nelson Kon

This house at Pacaembu, an old residential garden district in São Paulo, has been designed for a recently married young couple. They had decided to demolish the former existing construction in order to build a new larger one that would better attend their needs.

The plot presents irregular form and topography and it is vastly covered by dense vegetation, a typical characteristic of that neighbourhood, which is protected by law.

The new house is set on a higher plateau and it is formed of two adjacent cubes connected by the staircase, glass boxes and terraces. The remaining area of the plot is free for the preserved garden.

The ground floor is occupied by service and social areas that open directly to the lawn. Private functions are located upstairs and a roof terrace has been created as an additional leisure space, taking advantage of the impressive view of the city’s skyline.

The structure is formed of seven pillars located on the edges of the cubes, liberating space for a free plan. The wide openings receive extensive glass surfaces, providing abundant light into the house, as well as allowing the fruition of the views.

Cite: "Pacaembu Residence / Nave Arquitetos" 21 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Lucas Gray

    That first image really makes the house look like its dominating the landscape. I like some of the individual elements – the horizontally striped wood walls, the board formed concrete wall – but I don’t know if they work as a cohesive whole.

  • christos

    exterior-wise reminds me of a building that was built 30 years ago, the interior looks much better!!

  • juliano

    in my opinion it is not compatible with other projects published here – in graphical terms.
    externally it seems ordinary…

  • BAJ

    “This house … has been designed for a recently married young couple. They … decided to demolish the former … construction in order to build a new larger one that would better attend their needs.” What “young married couple” has “needs” for a 380sm residence with three bed rooms, 4-1/2 baths? The provided plans don’t seem to show one of the floors and the room spaces didn’t seem that excessive, but there is too much redundancy of use, too much resource consumption. Don’t they believe in first-time homes and the concept of move-up in Brazil? This example is not sustainable.

  • Alexandre Grazzini

    Very nice. Elegant. I like it.

  • Gonçalo Soares

    Good point, BAJ.

  • Jeison

    BAJ, honey
    Have you ever thought that many young couples might wanna their house to be the ONLY house? The one to raise their kids in? The one to have space for guests? Plus, you can´t define a lifestyle by one´s example. Concept of first-times and move-ups? Of course! Not in their case, though. I built a house for me with 4 bedrooms. Don´t have kids yet, but i don´t plan to move and bring parents and friends ALL the time.

  • Leonardo Ximenes

    Word, BAJ! Unfortunately, well-to-do families like this couple represent a contrasting minority that rules that country in complete disregard for sustainability or community welfare for that matter (and then complain about the increasing violence, go figure!) Most workers that had to demolish the previous house and then build the brand new Mcmansion-for-two seen here earn less than $400 a month and go back to slums at the end of the day. And when you confront one of these big-pocket employers about the waste of energy/materials x economy in labour wages, they’ll arrogantly patronize you, like the fellow ‘Jeison’ calling you ‘honey’, in his reply.

  • thiago

    even nelson kon, the best brazilian photographer couldn’t save this house.. so ordinary in shape and content…
    I wish that these houses without a deeper thought should be erased from our architectural examples. Nice comments BAJ and Leonardo, we need a new vision of architecture here in Brazil.

  • Yorik

    This is an interesting debate… “Modernist” architecture, in Brazil, is today often (only?) found in expensive private housing, in contrast to the “glory” period of Brazilian modernism, 40 years ago, where modernism was a sign of socialism in architecture… Would be cool to see something going against that tendency too.

  • zoo

    when was modern architecture socialist?
    all classic buildings are expensive and frugal.

    i am sorry ‘honey’ you should wake up and kiss kansas good bye…

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