Architecture in horizontal linearity was never etched more beautifully, and set alongside nature as Casa Redux, a ‘floating’ house designed by Studio mk27 in Brazil.
Perched on the edge of a native forest and looking downhill into the open green countryside, Casa Redux is any architecture enthusiast’s dream haven. The structure seems to float on the gentle contours, striking a conversation with nature in harmonious co-existence. Designed by Studio mk27, an internationally credited design firm based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the house is a statement of linearity in simple expressions.
Good architecture always respects its setting, as is evident in Casa Redux, and Marcio Kogan, founding architect of Studio mk27 further explains, “The open land, downward slope terrain and native forest, are aspects which determined the placement as well as the residence’s architectural parti.”
The residence owes its name ‘Redux’, which means ‘reduced’, to its simple minimalist design concept, that is simply a combination of boxes and lines. The clients desired a vacation home that had the least amount of lines and elements as possible, and the design team complied by conceptualising the home as a ‘series of boxes sandwiched between two layers’.
Marcio Kogan felt that “space should always be the central character, since architecture has the ability to transform humans and their relationships.” Hence each box has a separate spatial quality to it which is enhanced by the interiors rendered under the lead of Diana Radomysler from Studio mk27.
Location on site was paramount due to the gentle contours and Samantha Cafarado, co-architect of the project expounds, “We built the house on the highest level possible, without disturbing the existing topography, and thus could gain the view of the sunset and environs without upsetting the green surroundings.”
Sandwiched between two slabs, the stark contrast of the visual qualities of the material palette – transparent glass and opaque timber, augments the arrant linear and unfussy design approach. A clear demarcation of the spatial zoning becomes obvious in the choice of materials used to encase each of the four program boxes.
The functions of the boxes also have determined the ‘inside-outside’ relation which the designers have strived to achieve in every aspect of the structure. Glazed walls enclose the public spaces, and contribute to a never ending dialogue between the built space and open countryside, while the timber louvers encasing the private spaces open almost completely to strike a conversation with the surroundings whenever necessitated.
These boxes, existing as individual forms between the slabs, have created many interstitial volumes that don the role of circulatory spaces bridging the various rooms and also as connections to the exteriors. The corridors have a ‘perspective’ appeal, due to the uniform linearity and contrasting quality of the materials lining their sides.
At some places, a setback of the boxes gives rise to decks that strengthen the inside-outside dialogue, which the designers deemed as mandatory right from the beginning. A similar dialogue is evident in the living-dining space where structural lines become transparent as the expanse is flooded with sunlight through its glazed wall; another reason for the ‘floating vision’ of the house.
There is little doubt that the thin parallel concrete planes stretching over a gently curving topography, is the key to the design which gives a 360-degree experience within and around the home.
Natural light and illumination have been used as tools to appraise the beauty of the built mass. Explain the team to us, “The two main volumes that include the bedrooms are completely clad in vertically slatted wooden panels which open almost entirely. In the day, the panels filter the sunlight creating a texture of light and shade and, at night, it transforms the boxes into large lanterns which light up the land.”
Taking the ethereal feeling outside the main rectangular base is a pool contained in a concrete volume that extends out horizontally, with the tip cantilevering off the sloping ground, thus conforming to the floating design philosophy of the main structure. ‘Infinity’ is the term that comes to mind as we watch the water of the pool touch the sky at the floating edge.
The purity, simplicity and integrity of architecture are clearly outlined in the lines and geometry of the unassuming design that the team at Studio mk27 chose to execute. Casa Redux, is not a house merely set on a beautiful locale trying to be one with its surroundings; instead the architects have given the house a separate identity, that does not overwhelm or undermine nature but is at par with the beauty of its surroundings.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Courtesy Fernando Guerra