- Ecological Sanitation Systems: João Victor de A. Brandão
- Adobe: Carlos Pereira
- Steel Structure: Ferragista SOS
- City: Cavalcante
- Country: Brazil
Text description provided by the architects. After living in multiple regions of Brazil and abroad, Natalia decided to create her nest at Chapada dos Veadeiros, in the state of Goias. After 4 years of living in the rural town of Cavalcante, adjacent to the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, the idea of a home in direct contact with nature made a lot of sense. She chose a steep lot with views of the Santana Hills and named it Aruak – an homage to the indigenous people from which the family descends.
The aspiration was to create a space that was a refuge, retreat, and immersed in nature. There was also a desire to build with adobe bricks, a rustic, traditional material used by the local communities, whose thermal performance is appropriate to the hot climate of the region. Due to the natural color of the soil, the adobe bricks made with local clay have a strong yellow hue that comes to life as almost golden when hit by the morning light filtered by the vegetation.
There were many limitations. The cerrado or Brazilian savanna is a biome sensitive to interventions. Any construction so close to the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park should strive to limit its impacts on the surroundings. Besides the challenges with a budget and qualified local labor, access to the construction site was difficult. All those limitations meant that building systems needed to be appropriate. We opted for metallic structure and thermoacoustic roof panels, also known as sandwich tiles.
On one side, the house touches the slope and on the other, it feels like a tree house. Social spaces are at the height of the treetops and as a backdrop, we see the Santana Hills. An exposed adobe wall separates a family room that gives access to the bedroom block, slightly lowered in relation to the social block.
Isolated in the cerrado, Aruak House pursues autonomy and energy efficiency with solar panels. Ecological plumbing systems have been put in place to reuse wastewater. Besides implementing a system to prevent black water pollution of the soil and the groundwater, the house treats and reuses gray water for planting.
As light and shadow move on the adobe surfaces throughout the day, we remember that time also goes by at Aruak House - although time there feels very different from city time. Over the weekends, extended family travels from Brasilia, about 200 miles away, to be with Natalia and João and to share a bit of the Chapada dos Veadeiros dream.