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Cashew Trees House

Terra Capobianco, Galeria Arquitetos

Ubatuba, Brazil

March 2019


Ana Terra Capobianco, Fernanda Neiva


Liliane Nambu


Eduardo Ribeiro Capobianco


Nelson Kon


The 8,525-square-foot (792-square-meter) house is a single-story structure set within the gently sloping landscape and shaped between trees. The house is meant to minimally impact the landscape while drawing attention to its beauty.
Its space is organized by a clear axis of circulation that connects the common to the private area. The lowest level near the beach concentrates the social, leisure and service areas. Distributed along the corridor, the suites are deployed in a way that allows private patios between them.
An exposed pigmented concrete surface defines the bedroom modules. The boundary between the inside and the outside is due to vertical shutters that ensure privacy and prevent direct solar radiation and filter out sunlight, resulting in a pleasant light and shade effect.
The structural system of the house is a mix of a conventional concrete structure with the prefabrication technology in timber construction.
It took only 40 days to assemble the 8,525-square-foot structure in glued-laminated eucalyptus wood. In addition to reducing work time, the system does not generate waste during its construction. The structure is prefabricated, requiring only screws for its assembly on site.
The social area ceiling is strongly characterized by the 4.72-inch thick glued-laminated eucalyptus wood panels with a 23.95-inch span and a 6.89-inch overhang. An inverted glulam beam supports the load of the suspended panels and redistributes it to three slim metal pillars. The panels are interlocked forming a large slab resulting a continuous space of 62.34-feet.


The ‘Casa dos Cajueiros’ (Cashew Tree House) is located on the Brazilian southeast coast on Praia Vermelha do Sul, in Ubatuba, known as Praia dos Arquitetos (Architects Beach) because of the works designed by architects for this area.
Among them, those authored by Carlos Lemos, a Brazilian architect and architectural historian responsible for this urban planning project and its subdivisions in the early 70s. It is on the coast, about 400 meters in length and with more than 200 lots. Whose occupations are governed by the rule of not creating dividing walls (the properties are demarcated by vegetation), not deforesting and having a discreet presence in the landscape.
The idea is that the buildings are invisible from the sea. In fact, its discrete implementation on the seafront is not immediately revealed to the bathers. The house is hidden between the light and the shade of the cashew trees that occupy the front of the 27,327-square-foot (2,538-square-meter) lot.
The project accommodates the topography of the lot, from the front to the back of the house, the nature of the program changes, from social to private, the house runs along a 98 feet (30-meter) corridor through which the 6 suites are accessed – positioned in 3 sequential levels. The implantation strategy was to take advantage of the gap between the treetops and other native vegetation.


The built aims to generate low environmental impact. From its location between the voids of pre-existing trees, the accommodation in different levels to minimize the changes in the topography, and the choice of the locally available and environmentally sustainable material, such as glued laminated eucalyptus wood from reforestation.
All those criteria meet the building design itself, that is an invitation to celebrate nature, to be hidden in between nature. Transparencies and voids create unexpected relationships between the environments of the house and with the plot.
The predominant use of wood created a warm and comfortable feel to the social area of the house. The huge wooden roof hangs over the glazed frames which are supported by three simple metal pillars, promoting a 180-degree open view to the surrounding landscape, reinforcing the contact with nature.
It contrasts, due to its large dimension and striking presence with the sizes of the rooms that alternate with empty spaces along the plot, promoting a friendly relationship with the surroundings which is in line with the propose of the project of this summer residence.

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