Helena Karpouzas - Silveira Beach House

Helena Karpouzas
Residência, Garopaba

Hunting for a Brazilian cantilevered house that I remembered after yesterday's post (which I couldn't find), I came across this little Brazilian bach.

Another little summer retreat, it's full glass and opens right up so that you can eat in relative cool, then has a great solid stone clad basement for sleeping comfortably below. Using the slope of the land, each room has an exit to the beach, and the mezzanine has a lifeguards view of the incoming waves.

Simple timber and glass construction allow, the upper two storeys (the only ones visible from the beach) to blend in with the surroundings and let in all the sights and sounds of the beach. There's a minimal solid structure at the rear, supporting everything and housing the majority of the plumbing and water tank no doubt.

This beach is fairly far down the coast in Brazil, so I am picking this has just the right amount of overhang to block out the midday sun, yet let in all the light in winter.
There's something about being able to walk straight out of your bedroom door to grass and down to a beach....

From Arcoweb:

With a permanent population around 12 thousand inhabitants, Garopaba, a city on the Catarinense coast, is situated little more than 80 km from Florianópolis. The diversified relief and the beautiful local nature are some of the elements found around Silveira beach, where Helena Karpouzas projected this pretty summer house.

The construction of this residence, built on Silveira beach, in Garopaba, Santa Catarina, Brazil, begins with a stone built basement, anchoring the delicate open spaces of the floors above.

Helena adopted as conceptual base of complete interaction of the residence with the surrounding nature, as much in it's relation with the ground (steep slope) as with the surrounding landscape, whilst incorporating a decent sea view. "The geometry of the construction is basic, there's no complexity to it and the floor plan is as simple as possible.", argues the architect. The intention of the design was to catch all the available light of the natural elements (Sun, Moon, stars), as well as all the wind and all the sounds, justifies Helena. "I wanted to establish a conscious inseparability of the house and it's surroundings, in all directions".

The basement adopts a simple plan, constructed in stone, "a technique inherited from the Portuguese by the natives of the beach", says the architect. On this floor, drawn out of the ground, the bedrooms and bathrooms are located. On the first floor, of similar dimensions, sit the kitchen, dining and living areas. The large wood framed glass windows and aluminium structure, make this level seem bigger than they are. The mezzanine above incorporates the same features (glass and wood). The decks extending on each of the upper levels, beak up the box shaped plan of the house.

Via: Arcoweb

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JLS Design - Steel Tree House

JLS Design
Steel Tree House

Right, well, my first entry for Temperate Architecture, houses able to handle real cold and loads of snow, yet with balconies for those 3 weeks of heat in summer.

Rather than the traditional wide plan of a solar gain type house, this house protects/ stores the heat through wrapped up rear rooms and opens out at the front.

JLS Design have created a superb semi cantilevered house here. The steel and concrete construction, lined with warm redwood slats looks wonderful in this forest setting. The strong pillars support lighter steel frames and then the soft wood panels encase the liquid sand (windows). Its a nice transition and these strong supporting pillars encroach slightly on each floor, helping to partition the open plan areas into their segments of kitchen, dining and living. Between them are little bay window/balcony areas on the sides and a large deck out front on both main floors.

Layout wise the rooms that need the view are at the front looking down the valley and those without, where you sleep, are tucked up warmly at the back of the house. The parents have a master floor, with a balcony/conservatory/living room in front of their bedroom, and the kids have the kitchen, dining room and living room to themselves below.

One slight thought, am I convinced that the house is structurally sound enough to park two cars above the children's bedrooms? A testament to the structural design of this place, and that fact that due to the flat roof it could hold tonnes of snow on each section. I also like the fact that it's set out from the land to give views and "treads lightly" with the pillars at the front allowing deer to wander through.

From their site:

Subtly suspended in the Central Sierra Nevada forest canopy, the Stal Tre Hus' (steel tree house's) floating planes and corner glass spaces coexist with tree limbs as the residence strides into the landscape. Vertical plaster towers and steel beams facilitate a delicate 300 lb. / ft. snow load solution. Inherent difficulties of integrating the required garage (at 6,300 ft. elevation) into a 70 ft. wide x 180 ft. deep - shotgun - downsloping lot, initiated the creative solution. We felt the need to integrate the design of the garage with that of the whole structure. Vertical (interior / exterior) plaster towers, spanning steel beams, and redwood and glass infill define the delicate vocabulary. Shear towers cautiously landing on the forest floor, provide a sensitive alternative to the conventional foundation. Regional / historic material evolution, redwood, clear & translucent glass utilization, enhances the "indoor/outdoor" fusion.

Via: Architectural Record

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Francisco Portugal e Gomes - Casa Milhundos

Francisco Portugal e Gomes
Casa Milhundos

This place is another on my list of great layouts.
Taken from Arkinetia - (Thanks for the dig last week on your blog!!)
Admittedly it looks a little plonked into it's surroundings, but it does have the solar gain sympathetic layout, that I'm into and the pristine white rear structure seems "protected" by the rough black box in front.

Moving through the house in a South - North direction the front one story slate/dark stone covered box contains the living and dining/kitchen areas. below this box is a huge cellar the length of the building. Moving back, through the entrance foyer, you arrive at the stairwell, wet wall with toilet beside the staircase, and a bedroom either side of these. This is repeated upstairs. The daytime and nighttime areas are separated and the Master bedroom could be upstairs away from it all.

It's very minimalist, no doubt in response to the brief, but I think I'd like to open it up a little more to the light (perhaps with shutters to deal with the summer heat). I really dig the separate function of the two units. It'd work well with a south orientated coastal setting as all but one room could have sea views and sunlight from the south facing windows (which could be remedied via a picture window looking through the living room).

The contrasting black and white units also appeals. The use of black is something I've admired in a lot of houses, predominantly wooden numbers from New Zealand, see - Andre Hodgskin Architects Paihia Bach. But my concern is how do you keep the planks on the house? The number of times I've seen black wood warp in the sun and rip itself off a fence or house........ But slate, that's a different story and must make these front rooms SO cozy in winter, and the patio in the same material, great.

From their site:
The plot is located in the outskirts of the city of Penafiel, in the valley of the river Cavalum in an allotment near the park of Quinta das Lages.
The proposal modifies the implementation anticipated in the original allotment and resumes the duplication rule, not observed in the buildings of the lots L8 and L9, seeking a more articulated solution with the nearest volumes and simultaneously taking the vast ambiguities and disarrangements between the allotment and the lot drawings into account. As for the house itself, it is organised in two functional, though complementary, autonomous groups, to which correspond two distinct volumes. Each one of these volumes has a different orientation to the space outside: one white and plastered seeks the most distant landscape; the other one, made with dark stone has a more direct contact with the surrounding lot.

Arkinetia &


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