Maracanã House
by Terra e Tuma

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An entrance concealed behind a ceramic mural leads down into a sunken living room and courtyard at this house in São Paulo by Brazilian architects Terra e Tuma.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Designed for architect and studio director Danilo Terra and his family, the three-storey Maracanã House was constructed on a tiered site in the city suburbs, where the lowest level of the ground is a storey below the street.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Terra e Tuma constructed the house using concrete and left chunky block walls exposed around both interior and exterior spaces.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

The ceramic mural hovers just in front of the entrance and is a piece that artist Alexandre Mancini created especially for the house.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

The tiles display a maze of angular lines and shapes, interspersed with the occasional red dot. "I worked with a particular shape, a red dot," explained Mancini. "I believe it points to and emphasises the rhythm of the composition."

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Once inside, this entrance is revealed to be on a mezzanine middle floor, where concrete staircases lead up to first floor bedooms or down into the open-plan living and dining room.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Large glass doors open the living room out to the courtyard garden beyond, while a second sunken courtyard is positioned at the front of the house beside a tall window stretching all the way up to the roof.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Other recently completed houses in São Paulo include one clothed in golden aluminium and one with concrete upper storeys perched above a living room without walls. See more architecture in Brazil.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Photography is by Pedro Kok.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Here's a project description written by architect Daniel Corsi, translated into English by Monika Sönksen:


São Paulo. In this city, which contemporaneity is able to perform the most extraordinary urban contrasts for us, living can reveal an encouraging condition.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

In search of a place where this could be experienced, the idea of an elementary residence acquires the character of a happening. Thus, as this house decided to silently place itself at the westerly metropolitan meanders, is how it is presented at Maracanã Street.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

The plans which define the geometry – opaque in grayish materiality, clear in glass surfaces or vibrant on the access mural – shows its presence like a new event around the bucolic surroundings, where curious people wonder this new construction. Its discordant geometry in relation to the traditional houses of the neighborhood surprises upon the moment when it conceals any territorial definition, admitting as an element and as a public event, takes possession of the street which allows to be perceived. Through its whole property's occupation as it is available, it shares its limits as if internalizes the surrounding and though arises its unique place.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

More than a space, its levels gradually form a path through which outside and inside merge in a proper and continuous shape. The house discovers new possibilities to the limitations of the scanty plot, whose complexity exceeds horizontal and vertical routes which invariably leads to a new spacial experience, capable to elucidate singularities of the district's geography.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Being in the house of Maracanã Street is being in Lapa; is to live together with its peculiarities, stamped in the expectation to discover until where its spaces can conduct us and the possibility it offers the contemplation of neighbours reddish roof constructions and the church facade which crowns the district, while the sunset at São Paulo's horizon gets unveiled.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Entering the house doesn't mean to set apart the city, which leads us to it or to close off a disconnected universe. Its access has to be discovered from behind the ceramics mural painted in black, white and red compositions. Entering the house means, simply to transpose a succession of spaces, now narrow, now lightened, now shady, which leads us always to new experiences.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: lower floor plan - click above for larger image

The house's arrival happens from the emptiness, which is a viewpoint to the living space and also an identification area of its functional sections: social and services below, intimate above. Like the city streets, the lights between their spaces enlightens every directions, through big glass openings which sets against the solidity of the concrete materiality which it is built.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: middle floor plan - click above for larger image

Which way some arrives, which way some passes, which way some goes? Through the space, through the emptiness. Going around or staying, that's how its extension is discovered. We can find ourselves immersed in its lower pavement, defined by concrete plans, by the gardens and by the backyard which shape the ambiance, or we can go through vertically until the gliding plan of the roof unveils the sky in a special instant leaving us as observers of the city whose point of view is this house's roof top.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: upper floor plan - click above for larger image

The house is a living infrastructure. The pavements which configures a succession of perspectives is subtle protected by the presence of big glass frames. The handling of the technique and the use of minimum materials, as if it where stones over stones in its essence, confirm that Architecture can undress the present temporary superficialities and elevate only the spacial essence.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: roof plan - click above for larger image

The shelter, the protection to the fundamental, comprehend the nature into what the house is destinated and the sense it assumes, for those who are witnesses. Nothing more is needed for the contemporaneus city living. Here is the fundamental residence, unique and revealed.

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: long section from courtyard to street - click above for larger image

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: cross section through living room

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: cross section through mezzanine

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: cross section through staircase

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: front elevation

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: side elevation

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: rear elevation

Maracanã House by Terra e Tuma

Above: side elevation

  • http://twitter.com/_clarewilde @_clarewilde

    How can a concrete house look so cosy?

    • baj

      People, pets, plants and furniture.

      • fraperic

        It’s funny – seems that a rule has evolved: people with pets have great taste.

  • http://kineticosa.com Shay

    Really really cool design for the space you have available! Very creative.

  • PTimble

    It does seem really inviting until you get to the third floor, which gets a little institutional.

  • Mitja

    This is wonderful!

  • calle wirsch

    I like the lime efflorescence on the inner walls. It creates a cosy and homely ambience.

  • stuart

    Wow – that’s cool. Very nicely done. Could easily have looked contrived.

  • mlamuli sibanda

    I love the relationship between spaces on the ground and mezzanine floors. I am not sure the second floor is well resolved. If the space had become that small, why not just have two beds?