Guarujá House by Bernardes + Jacobsen



Photographer Leonardo Finotti has sent us these photos of Guarujá House by architects Bernardes + Jacobsen, located in the Brazilian forest.


The house is a holiday home for a family with two children, and comprises a pavilion supported by pillars among the trees, overlooking the sea.


The building has a steel structure with wooden floors, doors and window frames.


Here's some text from the architects:


Project: Guarujá House

The whole idea of the project was created when Thiago was visiting the site. There, in front of the client, he sketched what later would be the transverse section of what was being proposed: a vacation house, for a couple and their two kids. A place where they could invite friends over frequently.


Designed to be a pavilion supported by only five pillars, with en-suites bedrooms, living room(s)/sitting room(s)/dining room(s), balconies and a pool facing the beautiful sight of Guarujá beach. Preserved terrain and vegetation. Facing the street, a low and discrete horizontal façade.


The sea is the main focus of the building’s greatest view, but this didn’t follow the best sun orientation. Willing to take advantage of the great view, the decision to place the pool away from the building was taken, having then the house east facing and the hillside throwing a shadow over the pool.


Due to the terrain’s inclination, a structural deck 18m above the ground was used as a foundation to the development of a new area. Also, this deck had to be supported by only five tree-shaped concrete pillars because of the difficulties found on making the structural foundation. Above this deck the whole structure is metallic, witch makes the building process simpler, since it’s all made in loco.


Since the house is detached from the ground, it acts as a big tree shading the smaller ones, keeping the natural process of the forest and preserving it.


This platform consists of the whole social area of the house and a great external deck with the swimming pool lane in its extremity. The trees where planted in this level, giving a sensation of the house being in the canopy of the trees.


Apparently the house is limited to the two floors above this deck, but actually, most of the plan is placed below it. The house is accessed from the second floor, where there are two en-suites bedrooms and also the entry hall. In the bottom floor we have the housekeeper’s house, kitchen, service-area, steam bath, gym and four bedrooms

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The whole house was structured on steel and the doors and windows were made of wood and glass. The floor surface is covered of wood, giving the sensation of softness, and also making the deck look like floating. In the areas where their aren’t any eaves, the walls are covered with copper and due to the rain exposure, the material will change naturally, making it look even more beautiful. Inside, wood is the main material, used, for example, on the balcony linings.


Accomplishing such a project was very gratifying for the architects. A big, large planned house which disappears in the forest. A great house almost unnoticed among the trees.

Posted on Thursday April 9th 2009 at 1:14 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • WM

    My retirement home..

  • Amazing brazilian project!

  • robert

    only interesting thing to me is the site, pv panels and some of the intergrated vegetation. You’d can hardly say its unnoticed in the trees. Look at it.

  • bueso

    top spaces dynamic and great nature integration..
    wishable to it

  • Indi

    Beautiful, but how will they find the children?

  • Adf

    I want to live here….around nature and environment ….

  • Kiko


  • macy

    What an exquisite and beautifully designed house.

    The timber detailings looked refine despite the house being located in the midst of a thick foilage and which tends to be rather rustic looking in nature.

    The interface between the steel support structures and the timber panels is so simple, elegant and seems so effortless. Overall, a fantastic design !

  • G

    The most innovative house ever? No. Would I love to live there? Abso-bloody-lutely. Looks stunning from where I’m sitting in my converted victorian flat in grey London. Jealous, me? Never!

  • münte


    this one is just beautiful

  • adrian

    weird volumes. scale issues?

  • modular


  • Tyler

    I like the general idea of it, but for some reason something about these pictures is screaming Miami circa 1992. I like it, but something seems dated about it.

  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    Bernardes + Jacobsen have been developing this design language for many years with ever more refined results. I would be curious to know if this project was conceived before or after their work on the Warapuru project in Iticare?

    Also, I have always seen similarities in their design language and that of Ray Kappe. To my eyes that puts this kind of project into a lineage of deluxe suburban villa that goes all the way back to Wright.

    Finally, here, as in all B+J projects, the siting is sensitive, fitting the slope of the land without large-scale terraforming. This mirrors the siting philosophy of the best architects of the modern period (Siza being the absolute maestro).

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  • Nikola

    OMG i want that jungle nest!

  • chapmaniac

    shut up adrian

  • garth n.

    nice views, a pool, & lacy skylights do not hide this worn out 1960’s modern design. furthermore, the scale & proportion of materials (glass, steel, & wood) as well as the voids reminds me of a public space such as a library or shopping mall, not a residential space.

  • marcio mazza

    A very elegant project and very well placed with sensitive details. Bernardes is son of Cláudio Bernardes, great architect died some few years ago, at about 50’s by acident and he himself son of the great Sergio Bernades, pioneer with O Niemeyer of braziliam very modern architecture. By the way Guarujá is not in the jungle; it is a very urban
    beach 50 miles from São Paulo.

  • Brian

    Eu acho que voce precisa coinecer o clima do Brasil!


  • Brazilians are in the scene.

  • Cliched and souless!!

  • This is amazing….I want to go there immediately!!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  • obayashi

    The double volume living space with the double storey full height sliding glass door is just magnificent !

    Very bold strokes executed sensitively on a difficult site.

  • Cassandra

    Garth, to a certain extent I agree with you, except that I don’t associate wood with 60’s design. This looks like it will age quite nicely, which should soften some of its original harshness.

  • tinkie

    lovely, but the trees are more unnoticed than the house…

  • phil

    like everything except the furniture:)

  • Rokas

    Congratulations t the brazilian architects-they’ve shown another nice project!Keep on doing!

  • E

    Beautiful beyond words…

  • love it love it
    tho i agree, the architects who go on to tightly control the furniture seem to prefer that the feeling of home and living do not interfere with the magnificance of their sculpture

  • the architecture is according to the location…..both rival each other in beauty.

  • Bernardes + Jacobsen are really amazing architects! Their work is inspiring, and their projects are just like the tropical Brazil’s way of life. Knowing a little more about their job is really worth!