Text description provided by the architects. The "Three Peaks" nature preserve, situated in the Nova Friburgo mountains of the Rio Bonito hinterland, was the spot chosen for the residence-cum-retreat of the director of the museum images of the unconscious, Luiz Carlos Mello. Its proximity to the river was a deciding factor among the choices presented for such a project. Two stone walls - 1.10 meters, or 3' 7", thick - support four steel beams, upon which rest the floors and roofing.
The weight of the structure is in contrast with the airiness of the empty space (10 meters or 21 feet high), enhanced by two skylights which separate the upper story from the structural walls. On the back wall, the windows are gashes from floor to ceiling which provide vertical continuity for the horizontality of the skylights.
The house, thus suspended from the ground, is protected from humidity and inclement weather, and, at the same time, allows for a view of the river passing by in the distance. In the stone walls, a log stove and a fireplace, one on either side of the house, make for effective heating. On the outside, a staircase built by the staggered removal of stones from the wall, leads to the terrace: a vantage point for stargazing. Water and fire, weight and weightlessness, the archaic and the modern merging in a unique cosmic habitat.
Note: This project was originally published on December 11, 2013