In a beautifully green suburban neighbourhood in Brazil, creative designers at Steck Arquitetura have recently completed a stunning, sprawling corner house that provides stylish and luxurious feeling interior spaces with boundary-less transitions to the warm, sunny outdoors.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the house is that it is completely open concept at each of its four cardinal points. This was made possible by the fact that it was erected on a spacious corner plot that leaves its views and space uninhibited on nearly all of its sides. The corners of the home take great advantage of that reality with lack of boundaries and transparent materiality.
Regarding the inner core of the house, however, things are a little more protected. The internal transition and more intimate spaces that lie towards the middle of the structure are where the house closes in, creating a sense of comfort that’s akin to a quiet haven at the heart of the home.
In total, the house boasts three floors. On the ground floor, visitors find the spaces where the majority of indoor social interactions take place. Above that are the intimate chambers, where each member of the family enjoys private spaces. Below the ground floor rests an inferior storey with a garage, a storage warehouse, and space for yard maintenance equipment.
Over the ground floor’s social spaces, a sloping ceiling with a uniquely hooked shape creates an appealing and cozy energy throughout the shared rooms. This is mirrored in the way the towering overhand swings above the door in the main entrance and the inner hall, inviting and protecting visitors. The shapes here are particularly impressive given that, on the exterior, they’re moulded from a natural concrete that subtly complements the landscape around the house.
Around the back of the house, designers ensured that owners could take full advantage of the fantastic local climate by building a gorgeous pool and surrounding patio area and yard. The pool itself is situated such that it has both sunny and shady areas, letting those using it bask in or take the edge off the heat of the sun as they need.
The outdoor area was also purposely built with year-round use in mind. At one side, a beautiful pergola creates a calming shady spot across the poolside but also extending into the water for cool paddling in hotter months. Near there, a winding staircase leads from the terrace towards the pool as part of the designers’ goal to create pool access from all levels and areas in the house.
In fact, access to the pool is so good that the stairs actually lead right down directly into the water. From here, the pool itself is arrange in a series of relaxing, watery courtyards at each different point of entry, all eventually leading towards the main “swimming streak”. The sense of flow is tangible.
It is clear the moment one lays eyes on the house that its materiality is intentionally natural, but that’s not the only green element of the building or feature designed with the home’s surroundings in mind. Designers also aimed to make the building as sustainable as they could, installing a solar water heater, photovoltaic solar panels that are responsible for the electricity production, and a rainwater catchment system that naturally irrigates the gardens surrounding the beautiful pool space.
Those active systems don’t end the sustainable features. The large overhands featured all over the house simultaneously provide comfortable thermal regulation in and outside the house and also give home to a beautiful roof garden. Additionally, double paned UV resistant glass creates thermoaccoustic comfort, essentially regulating temperate in a low impact way.
The use of wood throughout the house and exterior elements are significant as well. Visually, the wood balances out the heavy presence and look of concrete and blends the aesthetic of the home into its natural surroundings, especially at the open corners. A combination of concrete slabs, laminated wood, and ruffled metal installed in levels and unique shapes passively regulates light and heat and even influences the home’s view, providing perfectly framed glimpses of the moon at night.
Another beautiful and functional theme throughout the home is the way that some of the interior versions of the shapes, structures, and overhangs mentioned above are movable and adaptable. Most balconies, terraces, and spaces with indoor-outdoor transition spaces can be closed off for privacy or totally opened for limitless flow by sliding doors, retracting panels, and wooden blinds. The whole concept is to make the home feel like a moving, breathing, organic part of its surroundings rather than a block that was dropped into an ecosystem not its own. The whole idea was pulled off with a sense of finesse.
The decor scheme found inside the house is deliberately minimalist but with an organic spin. Rather than establishing a totally different sense than the actual structures of the home, the colours and materiality of features and furniture are kept purposely in line with the moving structures and adaptable elements in each room, creating a sense of stunning and comfortable cohesiveness.
Photos by Adriano Pacelli