Concrete Weekend House in Downtown Sao Paulo

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (1)

Architects: SPBR
Project: Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo
Architect in Charge: Angelo Bucci
Design Team: Nilton Suenaga, Tatiana Ozzetti, Ciro Miguel, Eric Ennser, João Paulo Meirelles de Faria, Juliana Braga, Fernanda Cavallaro, Victor Próspero
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Area 183.0 sqm
Photographs: Nelson Kon

This concrete weekend house was designed by the Brazilian studio SPBR Arquitetos.

Dug into the air – A swimming Pool in Sao Paulo
Clouds, drizzle, rain, snow or hail, in all its physical states water is related to sky. However, if we are requested to think about a [swimming] pool, our imagination automatically starts to dig into the ground. Seas, lakes, and ponds explain the reason we react in that direction: essentially, a pool fells like a piece of a lake. It makes sense, the image corresponds to the word, water that rests smoothly on the ground. Water defines the surface.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (2)

But if I mention a specific type of pool, a water tank or a water tower, we first imagine an elevated volume of water, a pool detached from the ground level. In this case, hydrostatic pressure is a requirement to fulfill pipes, to supply water. Water level holds a potential possibility.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (14)

While walking on the ground,we could ask: where is the surface? In the specific sense of the word, surface has no layers or thickness. However, if one walks in a city like São Paulo [or New York], the ground level does not correspond to the surface anymore. There are some pieces of the ground that haven’t been touched by the sunlight for decades since buildings have permanently shaded them.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (10)

In this specific site, the neighborhood’s average height is defined by the zoning code: 6 m high. No side setbacks are required. The east neighbor building shades our site the entire morning until noon, when the west neighbor building starts to shade it for the whole afternoon. Therefore, if there is a pool to be built, exposed to the sunlight the whole day, it is crucial to define its surface: six meters above the ground level.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (3)

The assumption here is like to swim in a water tower and to enjoy that potential as a design possibility. One more water ‘state’ related to the sky of São Paulo.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (18)

A weekend house in the city
São Paulo is a metropolis of 20 million people. It is approximately one hour from the coast. Because of severe traffic jams, its inhabitants spend hours commuting every day. On weekends, especially in the summer, hundreds of thousands drive to the beach causing jams on the roads as well.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (8)

In order to avoid being stuck in traffic during weekends, we received an unexpected but rather logical demand as a counterflow action: a weekend house in downtown São Paulo.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (20)

As an anti-FAR [floor area ratio] approach, a swimming pool, a solarium and a garden are the main elements of this project. In a properly inverted hierarchy, everything else on this program is complementary: a bedroom, a small apartment for a caretaker, and a space to cook and receive friends.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (19)

The site is very central, between an arterial avenue, Avenida Faria Lima, and a metropolitan infrastructural axis [road and railway] built on the Pinheiros river shore. Also, the site is exactly under the airport conical zone, meaning all flights coming from Rio de Janeiro fly over the site about each 7 minutes.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (15)

Pool and solarium were displayed as parallel volumes. Two columns were located in the 1 m wide gap between them. The 12 m span is faced on one side by beams supporting the pool and on the other by beams that support the solarium and also hang the floor underneath. Structurally, the mass of the pool counterweights the volume which holds inhabited spaces. In other words, water is balanced by the beach.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (22)

The ground level was kept free from any construction in order to achieve the maximum garden area ratio. As a result there are three different layers or three levels for three different moods: ground level [garden – introspective or encompassed by the site limits], apartment level [the only indoor space floating above the ground and underneath the pool], and rooftop [swimming pool and solarium, an extroverted or panoramic space].

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (21)

This building and its program differs from the focus of traditional architectural projects in two ways: the metropolis becomes a possible place to stay and enjoy during the weekends and elements generally considered secondary in a big house become fundamental components.

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (17)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (5)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (7)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (13)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (16)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (6)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (23)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (24)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (25)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (26)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (27)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (28)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (29)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (4)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (9)

Concrete Weekend House in Downtown São Paulo (11)

Thank you for reading this article!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Oak Tree House, Melbourne / Kennedy Nolan

A project in the venerable tradition of alterations and additions to heritage houses - a testing ground for Architect’s ideas. This adaptive re-use of a double fronted Victorian house incorporates a re-working of the existing house, a new pavilion forming a central courtyard

SH House – Modern Town House with a Mix of Design Motives

SH House is a single-family residence designed by Pazgersh Architecture and Design in Herzliya, Israel. Project description: In planning the villa, the main design concept...

Christian House Has a Large Facade that Allows Generous Shapes and Volumes

On the Eastern side of a rolling hill with views to Hamilton and the river beyond, the Christian house is fortunate to command a wider than normal frontage, enabling not only varied forms and volumes but a much more generous plan than most inner city houses.

Passiv TreeHaus / Park City Design+Build

The Passiv TreeHaus is a site driven, highly responsive design + build project. Reacting to the steeply wooded site, the house is arranged in a series of cubic geometries that imbed themselves into the thermal comfort of the hillside