MP Baronesa by Studio Arthur Casas

Located near Sao Paulo, Brazil, this contemporary two-storey residence was designed in 2010 by Studio Arthur Casas.

Description by Studio Arthur Casas

A young couple with children hired our Studio to conceive this country house in a very steep plot. Located near São Paulo, the project has close to a thousand square meters, but remains almost imperceptible from the street.

We chose to have total integration between architecture and the terrain, creating an innovative solution where the house is terraced and gradually changes from private areas in the upper floors to common spaces in the lower levels. The section demonstrates this relation through a large staircase within a wooden box. It develops in a straight line that structures the entire program.

On the second floor, aligned with the street, the house appears as a puzzling volume covered in Brazilian teak, with a large corten steel door. Entering the volume one finds generous horizontal openings on each side, a zenithal one above and a vertical one in front, all framing the bucolic landscape and bringing light to the staircase and all three floors. On the first floor were placed the private areas of the house, divided in two sections, one for the family and the other for guests. Doors in the corridor allow creating two distinct apartments. All the five suites can be open to generous balconies protected by cantilevered pergolas that enhance the integration with the landscape.

On the ground floor are the common areas. To the left a living room is dominated by a suspended fireplace chimney covered in limestone. It is next to the kitchen open to a courtyard with a vertical garden. To the right are the spa and home theater, the latter is within a cantilevered box that works as a trampoline suspended above the swimming pool. On both sides large glass doors can be pivoted as garage gates, allowing total integration with the golf course landscape.

A Brazilian teak deck extends next to the infinite edge swimming pool covered in travertine marble, reflecting the colors of the sky. Bricks from previously demolished houses were used to give a rich texture to the house, in contrast with the wood employed in the main stairs box and panels that protect the bedrooms.

The interior design contains iconic pieces by Jorge Zalsupin and Brazilian craft, such as the chair made with branches from Ilha do Ferro, in the Northeastern state of Alagoas. Natural fibers and warm tones favor comfort in this cozy house that plays with verticality and horizontality to fusion architecture and landscape.

Photography by Leonardo Finotti

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- by Matt Watts