Glass panels slide into the walls to create an outdoor living room at this lakeside house outside São Paulo by Brazilian architects Studio Arthur Casas (+ slideshow).
Named Casa Itu, the building is the main residence for a young family with two children. It is two storeys in height, but most of the rooms occupy the ground floor to create a long L-shaped plan.
Studio Arthur Casas used an earthy materials palette of sandy-coloured render and Brazilian teak wood to create a relationship between the house and the surrounding landscape.
"We always try to use local materials," architect Alexandra Kayat told Dezeen. "We used local earth in the mixture of the colour for the facade. We tried to find a colour that would be as close as possible to tones found in the landscape, so the house would fit better in the landscape, as its quite large and horizontal."
The living room sits at the outer corner of the plan, allowing two sides to open out to the garden. A wooden pergola cantilevers out beside it and has now (since the photographs) been fitted with a retractable canopy, while a supporting column is concealed behind the trunk of an indoor tree.
A timber deck stretches out along the edge of the rear elevation, where the architects have installed a swimming pool. From here, a staircase ascends to give access to another terrace on the roof.
The entrance to the house is positioned behind the living room, at the intersection of the two wings. To the right, a dining room extends out onto a patio with a matching stone floor. A staircase leads up from here to a guest room above, while the rest of the bedrooms are at the other end of the house.
Studio Arthur Casas also recently completed a golden house in São Paulo. Other Brazilian houses on Dezeen recently include a concrete house with a sunken living room and courtyard. See more architecture in Brazil.
Photography is by Fernando Guerra.
Here's a project description from Studio Arthur Casas:
Casa Itu by Studio Arthur Casas
Located about an hour from São Paulo, the house in Itu is a refuge for a young couple with children. A prime position on the banks of a small lake and the presence of a large yellow-ipe tree led us to create a house that takes maximum advantage of the landscape.
The floor plan in L shape divides the house in a simple way: the main volume contains the childrens' room in the ground floor, a courtyard next to the home theater forms an intimate living room, a large living room opens onto the terrace and garden, erasing the boundaries between inside and outside.
Above this volume are situated the master suite and a gym. In the secondary volume are the dining room, kitchen and the service areas. On the first floor of this volume are the guest rooms.
The house is marked by horizontality and fluidity between the spaces.
The entry is made at the point where the two volumes converge; a low-ceiling guides the look to the external landscape.
On one side the stone floor of the dining room goes towards the terrace, gradually merging into the garden.
The living room is at a slightly lower level and has a higher ceiling. A tree trunk dominates this space, covering the single column present in the room.
The windows slide completely and are hidden inside the walls, bringing the terrace and landscape into the house.
The wood floor and ceiling give a warm and domestic aspect to that space that is merged with nature.
A second terrace room was created under the pergola in continuity with the living room.
The whole side of the volume is dominated by a large wooden deck and a swimming lane, integrated with the landscape by rocks that penetrate the pool.
The old yellow-ipe tree was preserved and merges with the architecture; a staircase was created aligned with that tree to connect the deck with the first floor.
Several pathways are possible between inside and outside, being one of the most strong characteristics of the plan.
Ground floor plan - click above for larger image
Covered in cumaru wood and painted with a colour that uses the local earth, even though it contains a large volume the house holds a discrete insertion in the landscape, its strong horizontality in dialogue with the tree canopies that surround the site.
First floor plan - click above for larger image
Architects: Studio Arthur Casas - Arthur Casas. Alexandra Kayat, Regiane Khristian, Renata Adoni.
Contractor: EB Malucelli Construtora
Consultants: Systemac (Structural Engineering); Kitchens (Kitchen Project); Luis Carlos Orsini
(landscape); La Lampe (lighting);
Suppliers: G Moveis Especiais (Millwork); Mekal (Inox Steel); Arthur Decor (Sun shades); De Aluminio (Frames); Metalbagno/Deca (Metal); NPK(Stones); Altero/Floresta (Hardware); BTicino (Electric Hardware Finishings), Jatoba (Mosaic Tiles); Vallve (Bathtubs), Prima Matéria (Solum Paint facade).
Interior design: Casual; Micasa; Varuzza; Nanni Chinelatto; Atelier Ricardo Fasanello; Dpot; Arthur Decor; Emporium Cortinas; Passado Composto.
Project date: 2008
Project completion: 2012
Total area: 950m2