Makenna Resort / Drucker Architecture

© Leonardo Finotti

Architects: Monica Drucker / Ruben Otero
Location: Itacare, Bahia, Brazil
Project team: Juliana Martins / Fausto Chino /Roni Ebina / Ignacio Errandonea / Victor Minghini
Construction management: Thilo Scheuermann
Structural engineering: Pedro Teleki
Art: Thilo Scheuermann
Project year: 2004-2010
Photographs: Leonardo Finotti

Between the cities of Ilhéus and Itacaré, the exuberant native Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest) and a sea of palm trees dominate the landscape. The area is a forest reserve protected by entities such as Unesco and Ibama, and is a target of strict constructive restrictions. In order to make an intervention possible to accommodate the program of a resort, the buildings were distributed as follows: a club with a restaurant and leisure rooms, a spa, 16 bungalows and a service district. Instead of enslaving nature, the buildings dramatized the landscape even more, framing and revealing contours and unusual scenarios. The design of the clubhouse and the bungalows follows the principles of modernism – and it is in this architecture of that the counterpoint to the nature appears. The resort’s clubhouse is a pavilion with overhangs creating terraces and interior-exterior transition spaces. Meanwhile, the bungalows have areas between 80 and 150 m2 and are oriented towards the sea. Also loose in the lots, they present the same concept of apparent slabs, but with a touch of walls lined with northern sandstone, a typical rock in this region. To enable airflow they opted for front-back openings, which may be controlled by wooden venetian blinds with moving flaps, thus reducing the internal temperature and dismissing the need for air conditioning. The project was approved by the Ilhéus town hall, by the APA (Environmental Preservation Association) and by Ibama. In addition to water treatment (the purity index of the returned water must be 98%), electricity is supplied by solar collecting systems.

general plan

The challenge of this project was to transform a natural place in an architectural space, or build a territory in which the physical landmark is no longer a backdrop to become an active part of its own construction, Identifying those key elements of the landscape to emerge through a system of relations that go beyond the visual area of the building.

© Leonardo Finotti

The building fits into the landscape, improving their potential, thus creating a large belvedere. Expanding dramatically the feeling of horizontality, eliminating the visual field that which is not substantial to the essence of landscape. Floor and ceiling acquire a substantial value.

© Leonardo Finotti

The structural system adopted responds well to the program and enforcement without waivers, without violence as well. A system strict and precise, but also open and flexible.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Makenna Resort / Drucker Architecture" 01 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>