Architects: Estúdio HAA!
- Area: 1130 ft²
- Year: 2019
Manufacturers: Azulejos Dani Melo, Compass Containers, MB Esquadrias de Aluminio, Rewood, Strufaldi
Architectural Design: Homã Alvico
- Engineering Project: Fábio Farinelli
- Electrical Project: Fábio Farinelli
- Hydraulic Project: Fábio Farinelli
- Country: Brazil
Text description provided by the architects. After some conversations with the clients, we scheduled the site visit. On the way there, after a paved road we got to a small steep dirt road, where we found a clearing in the vegetation, in the shape of a shell, there was the plateau where we were to embed the design. With 1470 meters of altitude above sea level, the site is 600 meters higher than the paved road. It´s may sound only like a curiosity, but it was crucial data that determined the approach we had to take on the construction.
Although I had studied the clients' wishes for the house, I had no preconceived ideas for the design. I always force myself not to have ideas and speculations about the design before the site visit, I try to approach the site visit as a newly arid traveler from a spaceship, pursuing the first glimpse, and searching for new discoveries of a space never seen before.
A stone. Already at the site, with a peculiar football stadium bleachers form, between the high grass, I sighted two rock tops that had drawn my attention. Wherever I looked, I always was drawn back to that spot; even though the rocks were eccentric, they had a certain magnetism. Entering in the high grass at neck height, getting closer, I found a pair of rocks with exactly the same top height and distancing themselves 5 meters, I drew the first lines of the design strategy on top of the rocks.
A stick. From the rock top, the design strategy came clearly to me, as if the site demanded it; something simple as placing CLT beams on each rock, creating two gantries, using the rocks as columns, in a way that the reference level for the project was the top of the stones, wich defined the first-floor elevation. In that same site visit, this kind of crazy idea was presented to the clients, they didn´t capture it totally at first, by the lack of drawings, but they accepted the concept of the design, driven by the architects excitement, I believe.
It's a beam it's a void. The main beams of the house are from CLT (Cross laminated timber) and are 14 meters long, with a total visible span that opens frontally to the panoramic view of the Pedra do Baú. From a structural arrangement and frames that open the span, the house appears to float without support and fully opens to the surroundings. On one side the beams are supported on the stones and on the other on the steel frame closed block.
The plan of the house. The house is designed as two adjacent blocks, one fully transparent destined for social and colective ativities, and a private one for more individual and introspective activities, totally coated with ebanized wood, including the openings. Both blocks have the exact same measurements. In addition, a shipping container was used to accommodate a guest dormitory, external bathroom, and services.
And the river bank talks of the waters of march. During the construction, going up the steep dirt road while it was raining, I was silently wishing that the rain would give a break for a few days so that it would be possible to receive some materials transported by truck. The delivery truck would not be able to go up the road in these weather conditions, and as it had been raining for weeks, some deliveries were delayed.
As I depended on the weather forecast to schedule deliveries, I started to notice that this month we had almost no steady weather for more than 2 days, I was starting to think it was atypical when I started to pay attention to the background music playing on the car radio, Waters of March of Tom Jobim; I started to laugh to myself, because until now I hadn't learned anything from the music I've been listening to since childhood, in March in the Southeast of Brazil it rains, and it rains a lot, and Tom knew it.