Leaf House | Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

• May 30, 2011

Brazil-based firm Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura has designed the Leaf House in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We see it as low-tech ecoefficiency, where it has the greatest impact, the concept of the architectural design. Our practice, luckily in agreement with our client, understand the idea of a tropical beach house as a mean to enhance the interaction between man and nature, trying whenever possible not to separate them completely.

Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

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Leaf House, image courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

This project was inspired by Brazil’s Indian architecture, perfectly suited for the hot and humid climate where it stands, Angra dos Reis, one hour drive south of  Rio de Janeiro. The roof acts as a big leaf  that protects from the hot sun all the enclosed spaces of the house as the in-between open spaces, truly the most important ones.

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Leaf House, image courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

These in-between open spaces represent the essence of the design. They are the social areas, where the the owner of the house and his guests  spend most of their time. The very generous heights of these spaces, wich varies from 3 to  9 metres, allow the SE trade winds from the sea to pass perfectly longitudinally trough the building, providing natural ventilation and and passive cooling both to the enclosed and open spaces.

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Leaf House, image courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

There are no corridors and inside and outside are almost fused. Many sliding doors, most glazed, open up the enclosed spaces and let the sea breeze in. The landscape is everywhere on the ground floor, and  the curvy swimming pool snakes into the house.

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Leaf House, image courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

When it passes below the formal dining room, it turns into a pond with aquatic plants  and fishes, reaching the rear “veranda”. This veranda is a resting space with five Brazil’s indians’ style hammocks. Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura calls this space “ Brazilian lounge”.

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Leaf House - Roof structure, drawing courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

The roof structure is made of laminated reforestation wood ( eucalyptus ), capable of crossing big spans ( 20 metres is tle biggest here) with delicacy and warm aesthetics.  The roof is covered in small reflorestation wood tiles ( pinus taeda), that easily adapt  to the complexes surfaces of it. It also collects rain water via the central steel column to be reused in gardening and flushing toilet.

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Leaf House, image courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

All surfaces finishes, except for glass and pre-oxidized copper are natural: Grey tiles of stone from the site, bamboo meshes, local wood from remanagement forests, earthy flooring and wood reused from old electricity posts. The use of all these natural materials, the transparency of the glass, the neutrality of the oxidized copper relating to the prevailing green of the designed and natural landscape along with the organic composition of the house and rich diversity of textures and rythyms created a very desireable reality: The sensation of belonging to the site, in harmony with the exuberant brazilian nature.

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Leaf House - Site plan, floor plan & sections, drawing courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

+ Project credits / data

Project: Leaf House
Location: Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Design date: 2006/2007
Completion date: 2008
Site area: 40.000,00 m²
Built area: 800,00 m²
Typology: House

Project:
Architect: Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura | http://www.mareines-patalano.com.br/
Team members: Ivo Mareines, Rafael Patalano, Paula Costa, Flávia Lima, Rafael Pretti

Construction: Laer Engenharia
Light design: Airton Pimenta
Landscape design: Marita Adania
Interior Design: Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

Consultants:
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing: Laer engenharia
Steel structure: Abilitá projetos
Laminated wood structure: Andreas Hösch

Sources:
Laminated wood: Esmara estruturas de madeira
Windows: Eurocentro
Copper: Didine

Furniture:
Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura
Llussá marcenaria
Carlos Mota
Tora Brasil
Pedro Useche
Magis

Photography: © leonardo@finotti.com

+ All images and drawings courtesy Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura | Photo © leonardo@finotti.com

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Category: Architecture, House, Selected

Comments (0)

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  1. Anonimous says:

    “Enhance the interaction between man and nature” sounds so eco-friendly…

    This is a typical ‘green wash’.

    This deck on the beach is agressive to the landscape.

    This house is taking the place of a natural sanctuary, that should be preserved, not taken by luxury houses.

    There is no other access to this place than boats… the owners wont even live in this house, it’s only for holidays.