Viewed from outside, the house is surrounded by visual barriers such as crossed wooden screening fence on the street level, gardens with rich vegetation and a staircase at the South-East. These design decisions create an outside world within the boundaries of the lot providing high level of privacy despite the dense urban area of Leblon.
A view from outside (left) and the water skylight (right)
The central concept for openness is noticeable first when entering the house. The space begins to gradually open from the skylight and continues to widen up as it reaches down to the ground floor where few bamboo trees aim back to the roof. The ground floor and the mezzanine with the library are shared premises, and the described design provides a visual access across the vertical dimension of the house which makes these spaces feel so commodious. As we go higher, the rooms become more closed and more discreet.
The quality of the light is improved by the playful water caustics as the skylight is actually a rooftop pool. The light is further developed in a pattern of the tree shadows to enhance the atmosphere. An example for a nice indirect light is also the windows next to the main entrance. The small enclosed garden in front of them allows sunlight from above instead of a straight direction, and thus, it makes the atmosphere inside much softer.
The library (right), the main entrance (behind the curtains) and the windows with indirect light (left).
With attention to the users here, several hierarchies are created which allow an informal lifestyle. The library is an example for a nice transition from lower to higher level of privacy.
Cross section of the house showing the main entrance on left
Children and parents have easy access to one another’s rooms (first and second floor) as they use the same staircase. In vertical dimension the parents’ rooms are one level up to secure calm environment for the office which is just above.
The office on the rooftop with the water skylight and screening vegetation
AS House is an example for the idea of cultural integration in contemporary architecture and a space adapted for the users. The design decisions contribute to comfort and informal lifestyle with respect for privacy at the same time.