RB House by Marcos Bertoldi Arquitetos
“This house corresponds to the ambitions and life project of a young heir and collector. The site, exhaustively searched, is located beside Graciosa Country Club, the most exclusive club with the golf course most centrally located in the city. Its particularities: dimensions, format, legislation and neighborhood shaped and conditioned several design decisions.
The idea of a house for large parties and receptions would also be central in the development of the project.
The house entirely built with reinforced concrete was a proposal of this office, which saw in this project an alternative to a powerful architecture for its volume and without the conventional stylistic concessions.
The site of 1200m2 (12,916.7ft2) was relatively small for the large program to be installed, and the triangular shape with one side in an arch did not facilitate the design of the building. A narrow strip of maintenance sheds of the golf course along a high wall would only allow the desired views from the second floor of the house. The vertical guideline of the project came from the relationship between the difficulties presented by the lot, together with the most important requirement of the client: to make the most out of the views of the golf course.
This way, the main uses only happen from the second floor of the building.
The house consists of five floors – the groundfloor and four more. The ground and the first floors were intended to: accesses, patio and car shelter, services, staff apartments and facilities, and with an independent entrance from the same square that accesses the house, the gallery for the private collection.
The gallery space was not included in the initial scope of the project. The main idea was to install the artworks among the different spaces of the residence. However, due to the surplus of areas in the first floors and the inclusion of large scale art pieces to the collection, we thought it would be good to suggest the creation of a gallery, idea that was rapidly absorbed by the client. Thus, the exhibition space was installed in a “T” shape plan with double-height ceiling, with one leg of the “T” reserved for a garden between walls, planned for sculpture exhibitions, water mirror and water garden. The coverage of this gallery, a roof garden, recreates the site two floors above the ground , providing a grassy area accessible from the floor of the rooms and from the main hall installed in a glass box.
The contemporary art collection began to be formed twenty years ago, when the owner assigned us to design his first apartment. We started with a series of local artists from the 80s generation. In the next years the collection has housed a series of artists with national and international scope, and has became a reference to local museums and important Brazilian artists and marchands.
The house, of approximately 1750m2 (18,837ft2), was designed for a couple and two girls.
On the groundfloor, apart of the vehicle access, a large square partially covered by the glass box with no walls and monumental proportions is the access to the main lobby, (also accessible for those who come by car from the back of the house), and to the private art gallery. The four upper floors can be accessed in three different ways: by lift or ramps to the main areas, and by stairs to the service areas.
From the main lobby on the groundfloor, we go up two floors to access the level with the rooms separated by the magenta woodwork, ripped by a ribbon window of 26 meters (85 feet) long with the first views of the golf course and access to the secret garden. This one contains 3 species of Pau-Ferro (Caesalpinia Ferrea), a native tree from the Brazilian Atlantic Forrest. This floor is dedicated to the daughters rooms, the guest room, and the rooms that accommodate daily uses such as the main kitchen of the house, which connects itself with the other two kitchens by a freight elevator. There is still a fourth kitchen for staff use.
The third floor contains the larger spaces and it is the floor dedicated to the bigger family interactions and large receptions. It is the floor with the double-height glass box, which runs transversally through the large concrete block, poring over the golf course in one end and facing the city skyline at the other end. This floor also houses the master suite of the house, with access to the secret garden containing the external staircase to the rooftop swimming pool, and access to the side terrace with views of the golf course.
The fourth floor accommodates the social and family activities for daytime use, such as deck and swimming pool, lounge and bar, all of them with broad prospects of the golf course, plus sauna and kitchen with barbecue grill for lunch. The pool is covered in glass mosaic from an original drawing by the artist Paolo Ridolfi. It was executed, disassembled and boxed in São Paulo and brought to Curitiba for its final installation. The internal space, in the mezzanine between the two voids of the glass box, houses a table for a DJ and a dance floor.
The plastic language adopted prioritized the volumetry of solid blocks made out of reinforced concrete in a work of additions and subtractions of masses, where the circulation tunnels of the ramps and the vertical circulation volumes of the stairs rip the main body of the building, causing the facades to be represented by the circulations that run through the building.
The front facade, more volumetric and sculptural, has few openings as opposed to the glass box, aerial and transparent, which covers the triple-height entrance square. This is where the two stainless steel doors are – one to access the house and the other to access the private gallery – with the background of a 12 meter (39 foot) high U-glass cladding.
The rear facade, more extroverted and permeable, is volumetrically more stirred, conditioned by the shape and proportions of the site and by the urban legislation. It includes several openings and terraces for a better integration with the landscape.
The proposed furniture, also understood as a collection, is a mix of international furniture brought from the previous houses of the owners, and a collection of Brazilian copyrighted modernist and contemporary furniture, created by leading architects and designers of the twentieth century and the present generation.”
Photos by: Marcos Bertoldi Arquitetos & Alan Weintraub