São Paulo – A self-sufficient, modular dwelling that does not impose on the surrounding nature. This was the client’s request when he approached Marcio Kogan, founder of São Paulo-based Studio MK27, to design a model house for one of the plots on his Catuçaba estate.
During a process that lasted five years, architects Marcio Kogan and Lair Reis developed their design, which they characterize as ‘modernist Caipira’ (a sort of modern local farm). They adapted it to the wishes of new owners and oversaw the construction of the first Catuçaba House: a 309-sq-m pre-fabricated FSC wood structure nestled between two adobe brick walls.
Sloping and remote, the site was but one of the challenges that the architects faced. As they worked towards a self-sufficient design, the dwelling was chosen as a pilot project for the development of sustainability reference standards for houses in Brazil. Building according to LEED standards meant that the architects had to not only take the house’s energy performance onto consideration, but also the sustainability of the materials and construction methods used.
The open kitchen, dining and living area is surrounded by double-glazed openings and protected by folding eucalyptus wood shutters on the south-facing front. When closed, the latter forms a continuation of the wooden façade of the sleeping area, which contains four bedrooms.
From now on, every home we design will reach the minimum level of GBC certification at no additional costs to the client
The interior floors are lined in adobe brick, and the grass-covered roof is fitted with solar thermal and photovoltaic panels. PET foam insulation, natural ventilation and a wind turbine further contribute to the house’s efficiency and self-sufficiency.
The architects saw in the project – the first house to receive the highest level of Brazil’s Green Building Council (GBC) certification – an opportunity to further the studio’s knowledge and culture of sustainable development. ‘From now on, every home we design will reach the minimum level of GBC certification at no additional costs to the client,’ Reis maintains. ‘Depending on the client’s interests and budget, we can then work to achieve a higher certification.’
This piece was originally featured on Mark 69. You can purchase a copy here.