A family bolthole by Perkins + Will flies the flag for Brazilian modernist architecture

A family bolthole by Perkins + Will flies the flag for Brazilian modernist architecture

Lush green landscapes, clean shapes, open interiors, surfaces of raw concrete and indigenous woods; it’s hard not to like the brand of tropical modernism for which Brazil has become so well known. The newly built Riberão Preto Residence, set within the green nature of upstate São Paulo’s countryside, is a distinctive example of the genre, featuring all of the above – and then some. 

International architecture practice Perkins + Will is behind the dramatic design of the house, and while working globally, the firm aptly adapted its style and approach to the specific project’s local demands. The commission, a holiday home for a family of four, who wanted to escape the country’s bustling metropoles and relax in a serene, natural setting, outlined a unique, ‘one-story-house’ with a strong personality. 

perkins and will brazil house view

The house’s L-shape floorplan creates interesting relationships between uses and the structure’s context. Photography: Leonardo Finotti

The architects duly obliged and negotiated a sharply sloped terrain to accommodate the structure’s key three volumes. The residence’s living areas are hosted within two low, orthogonal elements, which are positioned in an L-shape. A third piece is the complex’s pool, which juts out from the composition towards the garden, marking its presence through an eye-catching contrast between the natural context and its raw concrete shape. 

Naked concrete and warm wood are complemented by metal elements and large expanses of glazing that maintain a contemporary material palette while adding lightness to the construction. At the same time, the floor-to-ceiling openings and an abundance of terraces and other outdoor spaces ensure the outside and inside merge gracefully.

The interiors were equally carefully planned. The architects created open and closed spaces, as well as views through and across levels, so that the owners’ rich art collection can be on view from different parts of the house, bringing art, nature and architecture neatly together within a single space. §

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