Reform and expansion of a house and landscape reformulation, including natural pools reformulation and a new natural pool. Deployings cavenged materials supplementary buildings were created as ediculae including living/dining/playing room, gourmet kitchen, home theater, fitness room, barn, complementary sleeping rooms, some connected to the main house, some spread through the garden.
The project integrates architecture with existing landscape, relating to topography, existing stones, native species, minimizing earth moving, resulting in a group of pavillions interpersed by the luxuriant natural Atlantic forest landscape.
Natural raw materials like stone and wood were used extensively.Low reflective colors like moss green were deployed in masonry parts. Dark english green and dark grey were used in apparent metallic structure pieces. Wooden planks previously used as basis for heavy machinery that worked in highways constructions, already texturized by time and heavy duty use, were acquired by the architect, recycled and gave the construction a unique texture and rustic character. Rare formats like the 30x30cm wooden planks compose many parts of the structure. Resultant parts of the wood pieces obtained from cleaning and recycling, provided slats used for masonry walls claddings, furniture, entrance gates and finishings throughout the house.
Interview with architect Rodrigo Simão
The architect answers questions about the creation/designing process e development of the Project, material choices, execution, insertion into context, etc
1- What wished the owners/idealizers of the work?
I was developing for the same couple a different project in Itaipava, another place in the same city. Already in detailing phase. It was a very horizontal and full of ediculae house, containing independent suites for the 23 and 30 years old son and daughter. The project resembled very much Frank Lloyd Wright prairie houses, belonging to place, with mixed structure of Stone wals, steel and wood.
The owners ended up suddenly with the opportunity to acquire another beautiful condo lot in a forest area in Correas and we changed the address of the project adapting the program of construction.In the new address,in order to insert new architecture in the beautiful existing context, we developed the project together with some reforms services, along 18 months in a very intuitive and collaborative process with the owners, so typical of reforms.Three original suites were preserved and enlarged and a new external master bedroom was created. A new living/dining/playing room with integrated kitchen, home theater and varandais the central space of the project, with its customized dining table and a picturesque wood materiality.There were created also ediculae such as an open and covered pavillion bar containing barbecue and pizza oven, a of urô pavillion, fitness room pavillion, workshop/barn, two running water natural pools, inserted in the local river that crosses the land.
18 months before, when we started projecting their other house, in the other neighbourhood, I started buying stones, pieces of reused wood, doors and windows from demolitions, rare and high quality material acquired from different sources that are genereally offered to me – people many times want to get rid of this kind of material because they don’t have where to store, where to deploy, or because of the human labour costs involved in restoring.
At that same time I finally could acquire(after 6 years trying) pieces of wood from a heavy engineering firm, that were used as floating decks for excavation and land moving machines in flooded areas. I tried to buy them to deploy in my house years before, having realized the potenciality of the material, but could acquire only when the place where they were stored changed was sold. The pieces remained for a while exposed to weathering, gaining unique texture without compromising its resistance, because they are high density hardwood : maçaranduba, garapa, paubrasil, ipêtabaco, cumaru, etc.
After selection and cleaning of the pieces with bench saw, and a lot of sandpaper manual work, there were obtained 17m3 of high quality material, in perfect conditions, wich makes up large part of the structure of the Project, associated to other systems like metallic structure and sealed waterproof wooden floors deployed in the green roofs, in some parts waterproof concrete slabs, covered by green roof.
2 – How was the conception of the house?
The concept was integrating architecture and landscape through the single storey solution and creation of ediculae spreading the constructed area in parts, resulting in a group of pavillions blended with the lush surrounding Atlantic Forest.
The project respected local relief, boulders, and native pre-existing species. Natural materials like stone and wood were extensively deployed, non-relfective colors like english green were used for the metallic apparent pieces and moss green for the apparent parts of external masonry.
Bulky pieces of hardwood in unusual formats(23x23cm or 30x30cm) were used in great part of the structure, as much as the leftovers of the wood cleaning process, creating a wood onipresence in most of the spaces. Some details like the entrance gate and the barn external cladding are also example of the recycled wood use.The horizontality of the construction that allows views of surrounding mountains, the creation of ediculae spread through the garden, integrating with landscape, natural materiality, light roofing systems, transparency, previosuly developed concepts with the owners, emphasising adequacy to the existing context.Influences; Zanine, Frank Lloyd Wright, Peter Zumthor, rural architecture from southen Brazil and northwest USA.
3 – Were there any difficulty regarding the footage and layout of the existing house?
The piece of land is enormous(more than 35.000m2) but the existing house had small but very cosy suites, that were preserved. The living room also with modest measures, was enlarged creating an unified and functional space, integrated with lanscape.
4- What structural interventions were made?
The house attachments/ediculae – fitness room, master bedroom, workshop/barn, garage, ofuropavillion, were erected from foundantion until finishings.The existing suites, were preserved with minimum changes, the living room was extended with a bulky wood structure, creating the central space of the project, the living/dining/playng/home theater/varanda/kitchen room.
5- Was it a reform? How was the place before the reform? Wich structural interventions were made?
Yes, reform and enlargement
6 - What is the differential/highlights of the project?
Integration with nature
Landscape design as architecture element
Wood and stone materiality, the tecnicity of the spans, 10,5mts metallic beams in the garage, 3,80 cantilever structure in fitness room, and in pizza/barbecue metallic/wooden roof.
7 – What interesting solutions in terms of layout, functionality, economy, sustainability, integration between spaces?
The living room, kitchen and home theater are one only unified space, with no partitions.
Even though with modest measures, adapted from the existing house, the large wooden framed glass openings and the integrated space visually expands the domestic life towards the garden and the region magnificent landscape. There is a comfortable and functional spatial sizing avoiding excess bagagge for life.
Wood deployed as main element, in flooring, structure, windows and doors framings and roofs create a tactile and cosy atmosphere.
In the corridors, closets and suites bathrooms, skylights were created making use of natural light.
From sustainability point of view, deploying reused stones and wood minimizes cut of trees and rocky quarries, investing in human labour rather than in extractivism, being considered responsible and ecological use of material,according to LEED-GBC.
8- What are the highlights of the lighting project?
- indirect lighting throughout the house, in amber color tone, very comfortable for the eyes
- centennial trees lighting and different colors of light for each element, stones, water and trees/bushes
- light fittings designed in copper, harmonizing with wood structure and with the gardens
Lighting designer: Constance Sandall
9- What are the highlights in landscape design project?
The exploitation of topography, stones,native arboreal species. The precise insertion of new species and the clever use of existing elements.
Landscape designer: Lula Cancio – Floriverde Paisagismo
10- What concept has guided the design?
Integration with nature, natural materiality, spreading the construction in parts, creating an interesting routes through the luxuriant Atlantic Forest natural landscpae, resulting in a light architecture that responds and belongs to place.
From different points of the garden you can see the famous mountains MãeD’água, Pedra do Cone, Pico da Alcobaça, interacting with architecture.
11- How were the facades done?
In general, structure was made from wooden square logs(23x23cm and 30x30cm), and thick wooden planks, masonry parts received moss green acrilic painting or wooden slats cladding.
New wooden windows framings with wide openings were made from Freijó.
12-Does the project counts with technological resources/solutions?Sustainability? Describe please
Sustainabilty – reusing material, skylights in closets and bathrooms
Automation – irrigation, lighting cenarium and entrance gates.
13- Wich material is the spotlight? Why? How was it used and what has it added to the project?
Wood, Stone and steel were predominant, combined in many ways.
Wood for the visual, animic and thermal comfort.
Stone, for the perenniality, deployed in many external flooring areas, garden stairs, natural pools claddings, paths pavings, and some wall cladding.
Sleek steel structures associated to wooden floor pieces, sealed with asplalt blanket and covered by native epiphetae, in a green roof system that demands no soil, contrast with bulky pillars made from square wood logs.
The wide span of the garage, the big cantilevered roof in fitness room and in barbecue cover were possible due to metallic structure,”i” perfils and square tubular pieces.
14- How was conceived the interior project? What is the concept?And the differential? What elements and styles were explored? And materials?
The interior project was very simple, following exterior materiality, adapting the owner’s existing furniture and works of art, some aamzing pieces as Oscar Niemeyer armchairs and Katharina Welper’s paintings.
Also to be mentioned are the room solid hard wood doors, some in Sucupira, some in Canela, very rare and high quality species.
Customized countertops, kitchen cabinet , dining table, fitness room’s sideboards, hometheater’s sofa were made out of noble Brazilian scavenged wood, Peroba Rosa e Canelapreta.
Material Used :
1. Temper Master - tempered glass e=10mm
2. Discafer - Steel A1020 deployed in details, framings, entrance gate, etc
3. Comercial Gerdau - JF – Steel – Structural “i” beams ASTM 572 and e square tubular structural beams 100 x 100mm, 3.65mm thick
4. Chão de barrro – bathrooms floorings, ceramic tiles
5. Brennand – flooring tiles
6. Imperfer – asphalt blanket deployed in green roofs waterproofing sealings
7. Sergio Loos - Stone artesan – outdoor floorings, pools claddings deploying scavenged stones from demolition and construction excavations leftovers.