Hidden amid the lush terrain of a rainforest in São Paulo, Brazil is a modern home with a rooftop deck at tree-top level offering the ultimate escape from modern living.
With its sleek lines, concrete features and minimalist design Casa Na Mata (Jungle House) looks part Bond villain lair, part dream home.
Designed by Marcio Kogan and Samanta Cafardo at Studio MK27, the house has a lower level built into the rocky mountain terrain plus two levels of living space and a grass rooftop level.
The clients wanted a house near the city of Guaruá to use on weekends or holidays, says Cafardo.
“The idea was to insert the house into the landscape (in a way that’s) as unobtrusive as possible while maintaining the connection to the existing vegetation surrounding it and allowing for the sea view. They also wanted a nice social space to gather with friends,” she says.
The exposed timber and concrete add character to the minimal design which has won fans the world over and has been shortlisted for this year’s World Architecture Festival Awards. The winner is due to be announced in Berlin in November.
The three-level house has 805sqm of living space and it took three years to build amid the dense vegetation.
“The main volume of the house is elevated from the ground and seems built into the topography. The house, consequently, projects itself out from the mountain. The contact elements between the slope and the construction were shaped to respect the existing land, thereby creating an organic interaction between nature and the architectural elements. In the part that it comes out of the mountain, the structure touches the ground with only two pillars,” Cafardo says.
The lower level has a room for the children to play in plus a stone path leading away from the house.
On the next level up there are six bedrooms, two bathrooms, staff quarters, private balconies, a hammock, TV room and a large deck with a tub which allows the building to interact with the stunning natural environment.
The main living, lounge and kitchen area are upstairs and that level has a sunken floor compared to the wood deck outside which is open to the elements with a slight roof cover. There is also an open fire, outdoor eating area and pool on this level.
Cafardo says the home is surrounded by the Atlantic forest and the way the building interacts with the scenery is unique.
“The plot is located in an environmental protection zone, and therefore only a fraction of the land could be occupied with construction,” she says.
“What I find most interesting is the house’s insertion in the plot, which creates volumes that are fully integrated with the existing topography and vegetation (of the rainforest). This is the initial gesture of the project. In addition, all other construction elements sought to strengthen this relationship. For example, the transparency of the living room at the top with its fully retractable windows which allows for a full connection between interior and exterior, confusing their limits,” she says.