Paraty House / Marcio Kogan

© Nelson Kon

Architect: Marcio Kogan
Location: Paraty, RJ, Brazil
Co-Author: Suzana Glogowski
Interior Design: Diana Radomysler, Carolina Castroviejo
Project Team: Beatriz Meyer, Eduardo Chalabi, Eduardo Glycerio, Gabriel Kogan, Lair Reis, Luciana Antunes, Maria Cristina Motta, Mariana Simas, Oswaldo Pessano, Renata Furlanetto, Samanta Cafardo
Landscape Architect: Gil Fialho
General Contractor: Lock Engenharia
Structural Engineering: SF Engenharia
Site Area: 50,000 sqm
Project Area: 840 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Nelson Kon

There is a legend which says that the region of the colonial city of Paraty and Angra dos Reis (between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) has 365 islands, one for each day of the year. Two boxes of reinforced , rest fixed connected on the mountainside of one of these islands; two modern prisms between the large colossal stones of the Brazilian coast. The volumes project outward from the mountain, almost abreast of the , in a 8-meters cantilever. The house, of structural ingenuity, finds balance in the topography of the land, constituting an extensive open doorway and living space in the practically-untouched nature. In the rocks of Paraty, in the dense rain forest of the island, poisonous spiders, discover this orthogonal volume and penetrate the grass that coats the slab. Moving their fore and hind legs quickly, they reclaim the site. The spiders continue on their way into the house and penetrate into an important furniture collection of the XX century designed, among others, by George Nakashima, Luis Barragan, Lina Bo Bardi, Sérgio Rodrigues, Joaquim Tenreiro and José Zanine Caldas. The spiders become lost in the upholstered chair.

section 01
© Nelson Kon

The inhabitants arrive by boat: the entrance to the house, already protected by the slab, after stepping on the sand, is via a metallic bridge positioned over a crystal-lined reflecting pool. The bridge leads to stairs connecting to the lower volume. This volume contains part of the program of the house: living room, kitchen and service area. The continual internal area has a 27-meter span and huge glass windows allow for the view, the sea.

© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

The same entrance stairs lead to the upper volume which lodges the bedrooms. In the front part of the house, retractile panels of eucalyptus sticks protect the bedrooms from the sun. The spaces that face the mountain, have small internal patios with zenital lighting and the use of exposed reinforced concrete grants a striking texture to the walls.

© Nelson Kon

The entire top of the house is covered with terraces, observatories for the inhabitants, for the poisonous spiders, or garden for the sculptures and for the medicinal plants and edible herbs.

Cite: "Paraty House / Marcio Kogan" 26 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 02 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=74934>

37 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Nothing wrong can be said about Marcio Kogan, the guy’s a master and he has the wealthiest clients.

    His engineer is amazing as well, the whole third floor rests only on the stairwell wall and in a tiny piece of the master’s bedroom corner.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    OMG!…the heaven in earth….paradise!….

    Is like a house from “the indredibles” movie…

    Great

  3. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    I don’t even know where to start…what a brutal exageration of program: 4 levels of wasted space organized to produce ostentation. The use of a box to frame views and create inside/outside interactions is clever and never old, but two boxes, one on top of the other, just wrecks the overall composition. The house looks presumptuous and overdone, which is ironic, since brutalist prismatic forms seek to achieve the opposite effect. And ’sustainability’?? just imagine the impact of the huge concrete slab that anchors the entire thing to the sand ground of an island! If Bucky Fuller asked his famous question ‘how heavy is your building’, can you imagine the answer on this case?
    I usually admire Kogan’s creations; this is by far his worst job, an aberration of his language that hopefully won’t ever happen again. To my colleages, I beg you to take a second, more careful look. We justly criticize millionaries who build Mcmansions that look like an 18 century castle for they childish desire of a kinglike life. This is the same thing, but using contemporary language.We should learn to be responsible professionals serving not only a client, but the entire society.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      [quote]
      don’t even know where to start…what a brutal exageration of program: 4 levels of wasted space organized to produce ostentation. The use of a box to frame views and create inside/outside interactions is clever and never old, but two boxes, one on top of the other, just wrecks the overall composition. The house looks presumptuous and overdone, which is ironic, since brutalist prismatic forms seek to achieve the opposite effect. And ’sustainability’?? just imagine the impact of the huge concrete slab that anchors the entire thing to the sand ground of an island! If Bucky Fuller asked his famous question ‘how heavy is your building’, can you imagine the answer on this case?
      I usually admire Kogan’s creations; this is by far his worst job, an aberration of his language that hopefully won’t ever happen again. To my colleages, I beg you to take a second, more careful look. We justly criticize millionaries who build Mcmansions that look like an 18 century castle for they childish desire of a kinglike life. This is the same thing, but using contemporary language.We should learn to be responsible professionals serving not only a client, but the entire society.
      [/quote]

      ^^THIS!!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Im not agrre with you…but, personally, I would prefer a simply design, because the landscape is the most important thing in this case….however, this house have a great desing anway…all depends of taste..

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      go and hug a tree. This house is incredible and the fact that is expensive should not be an issue at all, we are admiring the art behind it, not your social stand in life

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It is quite lovely. Manages to be rustic and luxurious simultaneously.

    2 issues I have with it though;

    The kitchen layout makes for a loong walk from one side of the counter to the other.

    The text about the poisonous spiders makes me want to bash my head in with a shovel.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The first look on this project by seeing the images: nice, very nice.

    A second look, this time bit deeper and more carefully thoughts:

    2 Boxes in a beautiful landscape. On one hand, you never can do something totally wrong by this language in the modern times, but i would prefer here a much more organic architecture like JOHN LAUTNER did. Seeing the floor plans, i was a bit surprised.

    And here again (and again) (and again) i can just smile about many comments here, because they never study something carefully, just watch on some images and renderings and then they see a “masterpiece” or “the worst thing ever”.

    This Floor plan is for sure not a room plan (when you understand what i mean – imagine Adolf Loos ideas). Beside the living/dining space all other rooms are not so nice at all – considering that the client has here a lot of money and it seems he could almost everything.

    The bedroom slab is nothing special, just room by room with a lot of bathrooms. NOT EVEN ONE BATHROOM with a view to the beautiful sea. just black boxes. the bedrooms: not a nice proposotion at all, considering that we have here a lot of space. The staircase which combines the other box has the best place in the whole box: strange.

    Again: you just have to consider, that this client seems to have a lot of money, but by seeing this floor, it looks like a floor plan from a hotel.

    Then you are going down 2 floors to reach the main level with a huge terrace between which will be never be played so much, because you have already other and much better possibilities here by this amazing site.

    Just try yo imagine this room plan by going up and down with this stupid stair: just boring by having much better opportunities. Ok, you reach with this stair the main level in a dark corner.
    the patios should be really dark – seeing the sections here.

    The kitchen is also in the dark part of the level – well, perhaps the client never use it, otherwise i would also prefer here the view to the sea. If they use it frequently, they have to go a long way to the dining space or going through small spaces to the terrace.

    Conclusion: i can’t understand the place of the kitchen in the floor plan.

    Alltogether: this is for sure not a masterpiece. It looks to me not special at all. I can live here, but i wouldn’t have such money to doing so, if i would have this possibilities i rather want to have something more special.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “I don’t even know where to start…what a brutal exageration of program: 4 levels of wasted space organized to produce ostentation. The use of a box to frame views and create inside/outside interactions is clever and never old, but two boxes, one on top of the other, just wrecks the overall composition. The house looks presumptuous and overdone, which is ironic, since brutalist prismatic forms seek to achieve the opposite effect. And ’sustainability’?? just imagine the impact of the huge concrete slab that anchors the entire thing to the sand ground of an island! If Bucky Fuller asked his famous question ‘how heavy is your building’, can you imagine the answer on this case?
    I usually admire Kogan’s creations; this is by far his worst job, an aberration of his language that hopefully won’t ever happen again. To my colleages, I beg you to take a second, more careful look. We justly criticize millionaries who build Mcmansions that look like an 18 century castle for they childish desire of a kinglike life. This is the same thing, but using contemporary language.We should learn to be responsible professionals serving not only a client, but the entire society.”

    I also totally agree!!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the sun cuts in too much at the balcony, it’s in brazil right? No sane person would be sitting in the sun, having tea and getting roasted alive.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This house is beautiful: I wonder if the construction costs for such a mansion, in Brazil, are lower than those we are used to in Europe.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    a lot of “presumptuous” and “complex” comments of people who realy don`t know anything about brazil and brazilian architecture scale on high standard homes and lifestyle!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Your comment probably means you don’t have an opinion about architecture practiced outside Brazil, right?

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        wrong. I`m not from Brazil…My comment mean that people must know the diference between make a house in Tokyo or Miami, Dubai or Marrakech, Moscow or Paraty…
        Architects must also learn to realize the diferent types of clients they may have, not everyone has the same demands or lifestyle.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Sorry, when you said people here didn’t understand Brazil’s reality, I assumed you did. I think saying they don’t know anything about Brazil was the real presumptuousness.
        And before you ask, I’m Brazilian, and so is my Architecture degree.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I would not come up with as harsh a reveiw as Mr. Ximenes, but I guess being from Brazil and practicing there he would have his own basis through experience for his criticism. I definitely like the basic concept — one box hanging over another creating an expansive deck in between for the great view all around. but had it been me, I would have made the public and the private areas above “blend” into each other, instead of existing in such a clear cut “modular” manner, with the staircase in between enhancing the seperation. While okay, and often needed, in commercial architecture, this treatment suceeds in de-emphasising or even reducing the “homeliness” of a private home. I would always give this kind of a house ramps, instead of the stairs — esp. when I got a lot of space. I agree to some extent about the “sustainability” point and about the “deviation” of Kogan. But I do not agree with the comparison of this house with those “Mcmansions” of people who just acquired the tons of money but not the taste or vision to make sensible use of the same.
    Nonetheless I too am not being abale to give good grades to the floor plans — esp. the grd. & 1st floors. To me it seems like both the client and the architect were much more concerned with the external look and style and not equally with the indoor organization of space. The end result — a stylish house, with a not-so-stylish planning. Were the client and Kogan and bit too hasty?
    Finally, I do wish that many of the “case study” photo galleries made for us at archdaily had not cotained photos of the same thing about a house over and over again in different angles. Okay okay… we have noticed that there are two very well-made, well-finished, stylish boxes!!! we noticed that thank you!! could we have seen more of the **house** please?!?

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