Architects In Charge: Anna Backheuser, Elaine Fachetti
Architect: Paula Leal
Structure Project: Rodrigo Affonso
Mep Engineering: Equilibrium
Landscape: Nativa Paisagismo
Lighting Project: Rio Branco e FAccini
Civil Work: Artha Construtora
Text description provided by the architects. The program of this house, located in a closed condominium of family residences in Horto neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, had as the main guideline the simplicity, thermal comfort and practicality, without losing the contemporaneous aesthetic and relation with green areas.
On the corner lot, there was a house with a plan that did not contemplate all the demands of the program, which required a built area of 370m², divided in three floors. Therefore, we have concluded that it would be better to demolish it, constructing a new residence that had as the main challenge the distribution of generous spaces in order to supply the residents’ needs in a plot of 115m².
It was defined that the steel structure and apparent concrete would optimize the construction period and facilitate the difficulties of work materials accesses on site. The design of the structure and curve wall following the perimeter had already defined the extern boundaries of the house as the masonries act as closures to delimitate spaces. It was taken into account the importance of keep some uncovered areas, which are used as internal gardens and bring light, ventilation and green into the residence. The vertical circulation interferes as minimum as possible on the space distribution, but has become a very important aesthetic element of the project.
The concrete hollow brick wall – present on the north façade, oriented to the condominium square – separate the public space from the private space, creating a connection between outside and inside, besides allowing the entrance of natural lighting. On the upper part, the privacy and temperature are guaranteed by a strips panel of recycled material composed by a mix of craft paper and resin that remind wood.
On the ground floor, we have opted for a fully integrated living area, fluid, well ventilated and enlightened, with few walls and many translucent panels. A seedbed between the wall and the façade brings the coziness and nature to the environment. The kitchen is open to the living room and a wood panel allows it to be separated whenever it is necessary. The barbecue area also integrates the kitchen and the living room, serving as a prism of cross ventilation and green area.
For the floor of the entire internal space the burnt cement was used, which helps in the continuity of the ambiances, and cementitious slabs on the external area complement the ground floor. The slab is apparent, keeping the premise of easy maintenance materials and no coatings. The entire illumination of the living room is done by apparent trails tied to the slab. The kitchen keeps the gray tone that unites all the residence, but a hydraulic tile panel brings a more organic and colored element. Green tones highlight themselves in several corners of the ground floor area, dialoguing with the small gardens.
The staircase is in apparent steel structure, on the same lead color as the house structure. Steps/shelves in cumaru wood warm the ambiance and connect the first floors forming a great rack. Iron tubes create a small hall on the entrance, where the bicycles are hanged, along with a green lacquered pivot door that sets the main entry. By the end of the staircase, a great window oriented for the graphite painted shaft allows the lighting and ventilation entrance.
On the second floor, there are three suites. The circulation is well illuminated by the shaft and the wood floor brings coziness to this more private floor. Even so, the continuity of other materials keep the same language of the entire project.
The second floor is a small loft, an apartment inside the house. The cement floor and the ceiling in wood strips create a contrast and, when necessary, the rooms are separated by a single curtain. The space is entirely surrounded by translucent panels in order to take advantage of the green area of the condominium and the Atlantic Forest view. The balcony guarantees the green area of the pavement. On this floor, a steel staircase allows access to the green roof, which benefits from the continuous landscape of the Rio de Janeiro mountains and the Botanical Garden Park, besides offering thermal comfort and the cultivation of small sized fruit trees.
We have also sought solutions that were sustainable, taking into account the constant neighborhood humidity that demands the maximum of natural light entrance in the house and, at the same time, the cross ventilation in order to mitigate the summer temperatures. The entire house reuses rainwater and has solar panels systems for the water heating, besides water saving equipment and certified wood.