The scarcity of skilled labour and the low development of the construction industry are part of the reality that influences our work in Brasilia. Thus, we consider that the imperfection and inaccuracy inherent in thetraditional method of construction used in the region are characteristics that need to be understood in the “low-tech” Brazilian construction, to be better qualified, reframed and reinterpreted in our architecture. In this project we tested an alternative form of articulation between two conventional elements of Brazilian construction: the cast concrete structure and the precast concrete and ceramic block. The premises adopted were the use of low-cost materials and the adoption of low maintenance solutions.
The structure of the house consists of ten identical concrete porticoes 760cm wide, at every 300cm and connected by “volterran” slabs composed of latticed concrete beams and holed ceramic bricks. Modulation provided a simple execution adapted to the available labour and to the cost limit initially established. The slabs were connected to the porticoes by an on-site experimental method that allowed the precast joists to be aligned with the underside of the main concrete beam of the portico. In this way, the slabs are "hanging" on the beams, rather than resting on them.
All the columns of the porticoes were completed together. The low relief frieze at the top of the pillars marks the first step of concreting. Then, the lower reinforcement portions of the gantry beams corresponding to the slab thickness were formed together with the volterran slabs. Extra hardware for anchor between beam and slab was left every 30cm and a longitudinal plywood-type retainer was placed along its entire length. The rest of the inverted beams were concreted less than twelve hours after the first concreting, which is allowed according to Brazilian standards (ABNT) so that the two "stages" of the beams are united in one.
The large areas of mixed slabs aligned by the underside of the gantry beams alternate with small sections of massive concrete slab aligned by their upper face. While the former faces the garden and shape the ceiling of the bedrooms, kitchen and living room, where floor to ceiling frames open, the massive slab sections form the ceilings of bathrooms and services, in a ceiling height that allows the creation of tall windows facing the ground, embedded between the walls and beams.
Material Used :
1. DECA - Bathroom fixtures and metals
2. DOCOL - Metal kitchen and service area