Río de Janeiro, Brazil
After living in the urban core of Rio de Janeiro for many years, the clients wanted to build an intimate retreat on their property where they could enjoy books, art and especially the natural landscape.
“Río House” is private retreat adjacent to the Tijuca National Park outside of Río de Janeiro, Brazil.
Designed by Tom Kundig, the house is a rational steel-and-glass box supported by two concrete piers.
The 1,500-square-foot house rises into the rainforest canopy – a secluded hideaway for the owner couple to retreat from the city and connect with the natural landscape.
The home is sited in harmony with the wildness of its tropical jungle setting.
Tucked into the juçara palm and cariniana trees, the north end of the home contains a single bedroom while the south end opens to views of city, sea and Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Below, a screened porch and outdoor kitchenette allow the owners to engage the landscape.
Painted, marine-grade stainless structural steel – the home’s primary material – stands up to the humid climate where corrosion is a concern.
Manual gizmos on pivot windows and retractable window walls, as well as a solar water heating system, allow the home to function during intermittent power outages.
The home is designed for natural ventilation with manual pivot windows and retractable window walls with insect screens.
Local construction techniques are incorporated inside and outside the home, from board-formed concrete site walls and colorful plaster interior walls to the Brazilian wood and vermelhão stained concrete floors, a common vernacular tradition.
Architects: Olson Kundig
Design Team: Tom Kundig, Edward Lalonde, and Fergus Knox
Landscape Architects: Isabel Duprat Landscape Architecture