Nestled in the middle of pristine Brazilian rainforest, UNA Arquitetos have constructed a huge luxury home that has the nearby mountains as its backdrop. Located in the southern city of Joinville, the narrow house covers a huge swathe of land that sits at the bottom of a steep slope. Built with various prefabricated elements, the house features an outdoor swimming pool, plenty of exposed concrete, and a glass cladding that creates an intimate connection with the surrounding canopy.
The ground floor of the house — which contains living areas, pool and service areas — is built with exposed concrete. Apart from its obvious function as a foundation, the concrete helps to protect the house from excessive moisture in the humid tropical climate. A long and narrow structure also allows continuity between open and closed spaces in direct relation to the surroundings.
In contrast to the ground floor, the upper level was conceived as a timber construction. Apart from a more organic feel, the prefabricated elements made it easier to quickly cover the site. In an area that experiences regular rainfall, this was a key concern for the architects. To serve as a connection between lower and upper, a double height space was cut through the middle of the home.
Drawing on a popular regional technique to use burnt cement with red pigment, architects also constructed a large block that shelters internal and external staircases, as well as a niche for the fireplace, ovens, bathrooms and pantry. Finally, the whole thing was wrapped in glass for unobstructed views of the canopy right outside – which also provides natural shade in the summer. [photography by Bebete Viégas]