The Mirante do Horto House located in Sao Paolo, Brazil was designed by FC Studio as a large concrete cube, consisting of levels of living, capped off by a roof top garden and supported on two large yellow I beams with a garage below. The cube is private on its sides but open on the ends due to common practice of neighbors to build right up to the edge of their property lines. The house was designed by the architects to be a succession of 3 8xll meter layers with a concrete stairwell connecting all three to the rooftop garden. At the back of the home a second outdoor space is created with a sunken terrace featuring an outdoor kitchen area. Windows between the main living area and the terrace allow natural light to flood into the garage below.
The garage is accessed from the front of the home via a steep driveway and a steel sliding garage door that runs just below one of the two yellow I beams. A gap between the concrete cube and the concrete privacy wall allow natural light down and into the garage fro the side while the terrace garden windows lets light in from the back.
The garage gate consists of metal louvers for air flow and security.
The yellow I beams rest on concrete columns and create a colorful display of exposed modern construction.
The combination of the concrete floors, walls and ceiling with the powder coated yellow I beam and the louvered metal doors creates a geometry of shapes that is both cheerful and fluid while the architects attention to light exposure keeps the space bright and light.
Concrete stairs zigzag from the garage all the way up to the rooftop garden.
The rooftop garden offers a spectacular view over the city of San Paolo and also contributes a cooling effect to the area immediately below. The sculptural elements that protrude vertically from the roof hide the access point as well as the water tank.
Inside the residence on the social level, the cube is broken into an L shape with the kitchen tucked into the fourth quadrant. The space is flooded with natural light by a ceiling void that goes all the way up to and through the roof via a large rectangular skylight.
Surrounding the ceiling void on the second level is a mezzanine wrapped in a black powder coated steel railing. The shapes within the railing play off of the steel mullions running through the skylight itself.
The mezzanine hall is wide enough to accommodate seating for a view to the floor below. Love the geometric art on the wall created by steel rectangles in a layered pattern of large to small to large again as though disappearing into the horizon in an abstract perspective. The art is too complimentary to the other steel moments of the house for it to be a coincidence. Someone has an excellent eye for detail!
the living area to the home is filled with more artistic moments, but the crème de la crème of the space is the large fish tank along the far wall. Massive in scale but balanced by the large console it sits on as well as by the large red painting on the wall, the fish tank offers both a splash of nature and a prismatic light show across the floor as sunlight passes through the water.
The fish tank, while featured in the living area, is also prominent to the dining area, in fact the large red painting next to the tank is centered on the dining room wall. The dining table projects out from the wall towards the kitchen and although the kitchen is separated from the living area by a wall, it has a clear view of the fish tank.
The kitchen is designed in a U shape with the stove on the peninsula overlooking the dining area. With such a prominent spot, the architects chose a beautiful and curvaceous stove hood to act as both utilitarian ventilation and functional sculpture.
The wall of glazings next to the dining room opens to the terrace 4 steps down.
The terrace features a glass covered outdoor kitchen complete with BBQ and wood fuelled pizza oven. The space between the terrace and the social zone is fitted with windows to allow light in to the garage below. A strip of pebbles between the concrete terrace and the garage windows allows rain water to easily drain away.
The clever design of the second floor windows and concrete panel creates a geometric pattern that is visually intriguing while at the same time providing both light and privacy to the bedrooms within.
There is also outdoor access on the other side of the social volume by means of a sliding door. Just past the door is a small balcony above the garage, overlooking the street.
Photography by Nelson Kon