A sustainable house in Brazil that works as a young family's weekend retreat
One hour away from Sao Paulo, this sustainable house in Itu is a weekend retreat for a young couple and their daughters. A prime position on the banks of a small lake and the presence of a large Tabebuia tree guided this project that aims to fusion with the landscape.
The clients asked Studio Arthur Casas for a sustainable house and opted for a steel structure, certified Brazilian teak and a water recycling system. In order to achieve a discrete insertion within the landscape, the paint used in the façades was developed with local earth, mimicking the tones of the relatively arid surroundings.
The architects decided on a L shaped plan, that marks the distribution of the spaces. Casa Itu's main volume houses the daughters’ bedrooms; a courtyard with a winter garden, next to the home theater forms an intimate room while the large living room opens up to the terrace and to the lake, blurring the lines between interior and exterior.
The architects decided to position the master bedroom and a gym on the first floor while the open plan living and dining area along with the kitchen and service areas are housed in a second volume, in a slightly higher level. Above this second volume the guestroom benefits from its own private access. A large pergola along the rear façade protects a stone courtyard that can be used as a parking space.
The sustainable house is characterized by its horizontal lines and fluid spaces. The entrance door is in the point where the two volumes converge. On one side, the stone flooring of the dining room extends to the terrace, gradually being replaced by the grass while on the other, the living room’s wooden floor becomes a deck next to the swimming pool.
A tree trunk conceals the single structural column that supports the impressive span. Glass doors slide inside the walls and disappear, bringing the terrace, the trees and the lake within the sustainable house.
A second terrace, next to the living room, is protected by a cantilevered pergola with a retractable sunshade. The swimming pool mimics the lake with its large rocks and landscape design by Luis Carlos Orsini. Next to the pool, a stone ground hearth was created in the garden.
The old Tabebuia tree was preserved and literally incorporated by the modern architecture, as the staircase that leads to the first floor hinges over it.
Casa Itu's interior design is focused on balancing comfort with openness. Furniture by Sérgio Rodrigues and Jorge Zalsupin share the space with objects designed by Studio Arthur Casas, like the center table set named “Arquipélago”. An unexpected display window was created, in the living room, in order to showcase the client’s vintage motorcycle collection.
Blending modern aesthetics with sustainable features and materials, Casa Itu by Studio Arthur Casas makes for a great weekend retreat in the Brazilian countryside.
Photography by: Fernando Guerra