rural brazilian house by una arquitetos is a composition of interlocking volumes
una arquitetos has completed a striking residence in brazil that comprises two perpendicular volumes. ‘house at são bento do sapucaí’, which was first featured on designboom in 2013, is located in a traditional town 200 kilometers outside the city of são paulo. situated in a forest clearing, the dwelling has been built in the foothills of the mantiqueira mountain range, and seeks to establish a dialogue with its natural context.
in order to ensure that the project was as unobtrusive as possible, una arquitetos embedded the house partially within the terrain. conceived as a ‘tectonic volume’, the ground floor houses a large lounge, kitchen and two apartments for guests. this accommodation encloses a private and sheltered courtyard that encourages outdoor living throughout the year.
an internal stairway bypasses an intermediate level and leads to the elevated second volume, suspended at a perpendicular angle to the structure below. at each end, the upper storey contains two large bedrooms, each with panoramic windows. between the two built structures, an external terrace, (situated on top of the building embedded below), includes gardens and a swimming pool that offer sweeping views across the landscape.
the unconventional layout of the house has been configured to result in a range of intriguing spatial relationships. the intersection of the two volumes within the courtyard generates a double-height balcony, while the contrasting use of opaque concrete for the ground level, and timber and glass for the upper storey, is derived from an astute appliance of material and form.