This article is part of our new "Material Focus" series, which asks architects to elaborate on the thought process behind their material choices and sheds light on the steps required to get a building constructed.
The House in Lago Sur Qi 25 was designed by Sérgio Parada Arquitetos Associados firm. The project is 800 square meters and the layout is organized into 3 floors. Their volumes were defined by their use: intimate, service, formal and leisure. The project’s structure is completely made up of reinforced concrete with large openings that allow for complete integration of the exterior with the interior. We talked with the architect Rodrigo Biavati to learn more about the material choices and challenges of the project.
What were the main materials used in the project?
For the frame: steel and concrete; for the façade: brick masonry and glass; the flooring: wood and fulget; Masonry finishings: painting on rustic plaster and glass mosaics; Brises: metallic "skin" on microperforated plates made from pre-painted aluminum.
In terms of materials, which were the greatest sources of inspiration and influence when making your final decisions?
When constructing our projects we always try to get the most out of each material that we’re going to use. Starting with defining the frame we plan according to the architectural environment and its technical and financial viability, down to the choice of coating materials that are best suited for the suggestions of the architects.
Describe how the decisions on materials influenced the design concept.
In the volumetric composition of the residence, all the rooms are connected to a social living area. This area, acting as the heart of the building, has double height ceilings and a glass exterior. To protect this part from the sun, we inserted a metal microperforated ”skin", at the end of the covering, to filter the sunlight and at the same time be able to enhance the vision of people inside and block the view from the outside. That same part, the microperforated metal "skin", was used creating a vertical movement in which residents could pass unseen and see what was happening in front of the house.
What were the advantages that these materials offered when constructing the project?
In the case of the House in Lago Sur Qi 25, four materials were part of the architectural design of the residence. The concrete in the frame, the panes of glass, the solar protective micro-perforated metal "skin" and continuous flooring.
We used a structural system of ribbed concrete slabs, which made the work go faster and allowed for greater openings with lower structure height. That way the space between the inside slabs were kept free of beams and facilitated movement in the building.
Since the property has a great view, the house has a large glazed glass opening system. This system allowed for the double height glass façade and seals around the windows and doors.
The micro-perforated metal "skin" was essential for sun protection for the large glass openings.
Since the house is located on the ground level, the use of a solid surface to maintain the integration across the exterior was important. We used fulget as it is a non-slip coating that works very well in this situation, coating the floors, ramps, and stairs. The social and intimate interior spaces use planks of Brazilian teak to ensure the continuity between environments.
Did the choices of materials caused any kind of challenges for the project?
The use of metal microperforated "skin" forced us to accurately detail the steel support framework, resulting in a harmonious set of vertical brise.
Did you ever consider other possibilities for materials for the project? If so, how would that have changed the project?
In the case of the House in Lago Sur Qi 25, the architectural team had already prepared the design with these materials in mind. The choices were built into the ideas.
How did you research suppliers and builders suitable for materials used in the project?
Representatives of the companies in the construction industry always keep us updated with their products and materials. We are always searching for new technologies to improve and facilitate our projects on the internet and in magazines.