Project: Bela Vista House
Architects: Bernardes Arquitetura
Team: Thiago Bernardes, Marcia Santoro, Camila Tariki, Antonia Bernardes, Gabriel Falcade Forti, Marina Salles, Rodrigo Mathias, Diogo Esteves, José Miguel Ferreira, Marcelo Dondo, Helena Obino, Leemin Alves Tang, Mariana Cohen
Landscape: Cenário Paisagismo
Lighting: Estúdio Carlos Fortes
Location: Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil
Area: 2.650 m2
Photo credits: Fernando Guerra
Text by Bernardes Arquitetura
Bela Vista House is the result of the intersections between apparently divergent housing types: a patio house laid out in a square plan; and superimposed linear blocks inserted in the topography by carefully located retaining walls. These differences are responsible not only for the insertion of the house in the landscape, which create a contrast between the topographic plinth and the transparent volume topping it, but also for splitting social and intimate functions. The difference in level between these areas have independent car accesses, which facilitate the parking management of visitors, residents, and service providers. The volumes that cap the hill, which redesign its perimeter overlooking the valley in a square shape, accommodate bedrooms and private living areas. On top of it, the glass volume built around a patio houses all social spaces of the house: living, reception, dinning, among others.
Its glass panes are protected by automatic translucent meshes for thermal and natural lighting regulation. Horizontal and vertical circulations all take place around the patio, which doubles in function as a rain garden. Its roof collects rainwater and direct it to the patio, where it is collected for reuse as greywater in the house. The opposite volume, which is partially inserted in the terrain, gives support for pool and outdoor activities, with amenities such as: sauna, gym, barbeque pit, and others. The linear pool and deck that connect them leans over the landscape by creating and infinity edge on the plinth. The only part of the house disconnected from the plinth, but that remains inserted in the hill, is a private granite volume that contains guest rooms.
The Bela Vista House has a total built area of 2650 sqm. The plinth is made of peripheral concrete retaining walls covered with pre-fabricated, high-resistance concrete panels. The glass volume is enclosed by large-scale, sliding panes made of 18mm laminated glass, while its roof was made in CCM (copper composite material) over thermo-molded waterproofing film.
Casa Bela Vista is a unique example of the combination of architecture and landscape architecture to achieve a seamless intervention whose programmatic, spatial and technical solutions form a single gesture. The interplay between the hill, plinth and patio pavilion generate exceptional spatial qualities that are fully weaved with surrounding views and gardens. In this context, it is hard to drawn clear lines between what could be considered landscape and building. The distribution of flows and different levels access to both the house and the gardens are also controlled by insertions of building into the topography and bridges. This creates a singular intervention that exemplifies innovative means to integrate architecture and site.