Rio Bonito House, Brazil | Carla Juaçaba

This residence, in the Nova Friburgo northern mountainous region of the the state of Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil, explores the poetics of tectonics in the simplest, minimum expression of space and materials.

Designed by brazilian architect Carla Juaçaba, it is a retreat close to the river, which was a deciding factor for its elevated floor level. Two stone walls of 1.10m thickness support four metal beams that form the structural system for the residence. Two parallel to the walls skylights enhance natural light and emphasize the building’s structure.
The result is a retreat of unique spatial quality, simple presence and harmonic relation to its rich natural environment.

All photos © Nelson Kon

Description from the architect: 

''The "Three Peaks" nature preserve, situated in the Nova Friburgo mountains of the Rio Bonito hinterland, was the spot chosen for the residence-cum-retreat of the director of the museum images of the unconscious. Its proximity to the river was a deciding factor among the choices presented for such a project.

Two stone walls - 1.10 meters, or 3' 7", thick - support four steel beams, upon which rest the floors and roofing. The weight of the structure is in contrast with the airiness of the empty space (10 meters or 21 feet high), enhanced by two skylights which separate the upper story from the structural walls. On the back wall, the windows are gashes from floor to ceiling which provide vertical continuity for the horizontality of the skylights.''

Source: Carla Juaçaba architect,