A place immersed in lush Atlantic Rainforest nature. A terrain filled with large leafy trees, foliage, shrubs, birds and wild animals. A challenging topography with a steep slope, characteristic of the Nova Lima region in Minas Gerais. This is the place where Casa Açucena is inserted.
The project is a response to a sensitive reading of the place. In a first contact with this terrain, it is already evident the need to maintain the natural characteristics. The act of looking upwards, from the ground to the canopy of trees, elevated up to fifteen meters above ground level, was decisive for the creation of the concept. How to build in a place with such a steep topography, while maintaining the original nature? How to give the residents the daily experience of looking up and seeing the sky through the treetops. These were the questions that guided all design decisions.
The initial understanding that architecture should mold to the terrain, and not the other way around, was the starting point. The house rises above the ground and the animal and plant life develops underneath. The program shapes itself by occupying the empty spaces between the trees. No trees are removed. The topography is not changed. Art and Nature in perfect harmony. From this point on, no choice or design decision was made by taste or will of the architect. Everything is a response and is intended to reinforce a concept.
The house, in its white color, is a surprise to those who arrive. Its randomly placed black pillars blend in with the trunks. The house seems to float. Its fluid plan, a result of the program's occupation among the trees, and its openings and folds in the slab, to reach the view of the treetops, generate the volumetry. The architecture is harmoniously inserted next to the natural vegetation, but maintains its presence. Surprise and novelty are values inherent to art. Casa Açucena presents itself as a white flower in the midst of nature.
Location: Nova Lima, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Total built area (m²): 500 m².
Concrete structural project: M Estruturas.
Photographer: Jomar Bragança.
Responsible Architects: Carlos Maia, Débora Mendes and Igor Macedo.
Contributors: Laura Georgia Rodrigues Layoun, Octávio Henrique Mendes Pena, Daniele Meloni, Déborah Martins.
Casa Açucena by TETRO Architecture in Brazil won the WA Award Cycle 43. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.
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