The B+B House has a sense of the monumental, a feature of Brazilian modernism with its open, poetic and optimistic character. Clean, cubist forms are influenced by local construction technology, but also by the climate and way of life. Raw concrete allows abstract modelled forms, while its passive cooling potential moderates the climate. Photos Fernando Guerra / FG+SG
Entry to the house is via an ‘architectural promenade’, a generous ramp that takes the resident or visitor on a gradual journey up and into the house. The open concrete block lattice creates a breezeway for cooling, protection from the elements and it creates striking light and shade patterns.
“This solution was vastly used by Brazilian modernism,” explains the architect, “which consecrated the radical use of ramps as a way of vertical circulation while reaffirming the Corbusian precepts of architectural promenade. There is an intentional uncertainty about the character of this space: internal or external?”
The main living spaces are on the top/first floor, at the top of the ramp. A long open space allows for full flexibility of layout, with the kitchen set in a central core looking over the ramp and the living room. The kitchen is gently lit by the ‘constructed light’ of the breezeway blocks, creating a gentle ambience.
Bedrooms are located on the ground floor – with a direct relationship to the garden – and are accessed by the ramp and internally by via a staircase from the living room on the top floor. “The wooden elements on this floor’s facade allow for the internal control of the sunlight and thus provides for a great thermal performance.”
Raw concrete and natural timber give character and texture to the house, warmed by colour, soft textiles and rugs. Despite its size, the B+B House is a welcoming and intimate home for the residents, as well as a successful social space for extended family and friends.
Photographer: © Fernando Guerra / FG+SG