- Engineer: Alexandre Rihl
- Constructor: Miro Chichelero, André Bergamin, Patrick Rigon
- City: Caxias do Sul
- Country: Brazil
Text description provided by the architects. Pereira Narvaes house is located in Caxias, a mountainous region of southern Brazil. After visiting the site it was clear that the incredible view of the ‘green wall’, a mountain with na almost vertical slope, would direct the project.
The clients requirement was a contemporary residence that represented their family’s personality, and the resulting design was a functional house of straight lines using concrete, brick, iron and glass.
The house contrasts with all the surrounding nature, and internally frames the landscape, bringing the outside inside. There is a constant inter-play of contrasts: density and space, concrete and nature, light and shadow - this is powered by pure geometry in features like the many glass windows, and the concrete box which floats on the south facade, and contains the bathroom of the master bedroom. It also cleverly hides the water tank.
Virtually all openings in the house - including the service area - are oriented to the north, taking full advantage of the mountain views and providing excellent insulation and ventilation.
The residence is on sloping terrain. It is bordered to the south by the access road and to the north by a small watercourse.
The sound of a waterfall is constantly present, but can be stopped using thermal acoustic frames with special glass. The region has extreme temperatures throughout winter so thermal comfort is maintained by a quality heating system. Underfloor heating was used in the social area so that the radiators would not interfere with the interior design. Solar panels also feed the system.
The house is set over three blocks: the sleeping and social blocks (parallel to each other and at different levels) and the vertical circulation cross-block which unites them.
The houses’ U shape generates an internal courtyard which helps the service area, however it is mainly used to complement the social zone.
The access door leading to the sleeping block also leads to the office, which is integrated into a family room with access to a terrace and green roof.
The corridor that accesses the bedrooms is naturally lit by a floor-level opening, this also helps provide privacy to the residents.
The bedrooms have sliding doors that reveal the stunning landscape. The use of a green roof on the social block helps with thermal issues, whilst not restricting the spectacular views.
In the master bathroom the coolness of concrete and glass is softened by wooden furniture. Hydraulic tiles have been used on the floor - their strong graphic lines were achieved using three different colours.
The stairs leading to the social area have an iron frame and wooden treads - their open minimal design also allows additional light into the space. Downstairs, a wooden landing smoothes the transition between the two levels.
In the social area, the living room, dining room and kitchen are all integrated. The cooking area is separated by a kitchen island. There is no inner wall to this block, which helps create an impressive sense of space whilst making a feature of the exposed concrete ceiling.
To optimise usage, the guest room combines as a games/reading room. When necessary, it can be converted into a bedroom with futons. It is completely isolated from the sleeping zone ensuring privacy to all.