Boaçava House Extension
São Paulo, Brazil
Cristiane Muniz / Fernando Viégas / Fábio Valentim / Fernanda Barbara
Companhia de projetos, Marcelo Zamaro, Soma, Foco, F2
Eduardo Secchi Munhoz
The first house was designed in 2009 and was built in 2011, in a residential neighborhood, Sao Paulo city.
The site is located in a slope with six meters difference between back neighbor and the house, the design strategy provides a large distant view from the street level. The continuity is established therefore through the neighborhood treetops and the skyline on the banks of Pinheiros River.
The suspended concrete volume protects living areas on the ground level, with spatial variations from the design of the pavement with different heights. This wood pavement connects the entry to the pool, unfolding inside the room.
The concrete wall supports construction and divides longitudinally the site giving independence to the facilities areas. This colored block was pigmented with iron oxide. The molded wall provides reflections of light and a transition from external to internal areas. Two concrete columns complete the structure of this level allowing apparent asymmetry for the regular system.
Thinking of structural sense as a folding, the volume of the superior level behaves differently. There is no continuity of the columns; the concrete walls support the cover slab.
The contrast with this first level, where the bedrooms are, appears in the opacity of the volume. It indicates some intimacy; reentrant balconies mediate views from these rooms. These extractions ensure diagonal views, multiple light and ventilation accesses emphasizing the sun's path.
A solarium on the roof completes the rising way.
As Paulo Mendes da Rocha said, the beauty of an expansion is the way it’s placed in relation to that main element that motivated its realization. In this case, however, it’s not an annex in the usual sense, in which two buildings from different times are organized with a hierarchical differentiation. This transformation introduces new spatialities, forms and relationships between the parts, redefining the whole and configuring a new unit: a citadel. Citadel not as a fort or place of protection but as a set of buildings that preserve the autonomy and constitute a whole. This whole presents itself as a micro urban structure by superimposing a second layer on it that starts to organize domestic life beyond its interior spaces, but in a varied network of open spaces that, unlike fortresses that usually characterize medieval citadels, expands the possibilities of integration between landscape and city.
The care in the elaboration of the voids “between” and “through” the new elements amplifies the meaning of the house not as an object against the background, but as a redesign of the entire lot, reinforcing the importance of open spaces, whose shape and ambience make them as relevant as the sheltered spaces. If in the original house the voids are the atypical and small-scale elements that sculpted the volume, here they acquire a scale in which they conform some spaces of sociability and meeting.
Due to its centrality and scale, it becomes the protagonist of the set: the gregarious place. [Carlos Alberto Maciel]
As the years went by, some uses have intensified and others have changed. The children grew up. The necessity of spaces for corporeal arts activities or for work from home, even before the pandemic.
In response to those demands, there was an opportunity to acquire the neighboring lot.
The extension project is the opening of a patio, a kind of square that becomes the center of the whole articulating new uses to the existing ones.
The volume that occupied most of the lot, respecting the obligatory distances, got a counterpoint with the exterior.
There are three new facades to this square, defined by the constructions: the original house with the pigmented concrete block and two annexed wings. That again established continuity with the street.
The existing wooden floor was extended to all exterior spaces, connecting the backyard as well, which enlarges the view to the Pinheiros valley.
The patio connects with the horizon. The geography is inside almost forgetting the private lot.
Establishing a connection in the time, the new volume is built with the same apparent concrete; the same plank molds with 20cm. Connectors and layers of protections are metallic. The idea is to condense both phases without differentiating, as if they were laying in wait of a new complement.
In the end, we won’t know what was built first, the house or it’s extension. There could yet be more interventions, in the future, an open work.
The result is like a citadel with its towers, bridges, suspended gardens, lowered patios and covered squares.