This Brilliant Brazilian Abode Was Designed Around an Imposing Tree

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By Michele Koh Morollo
In the residential district of Alto de Pinheiros in São Paulo, a indoor/outdoor family home revolves around a grand flamboyant tree.

When a São Paulo family hired global firm Perkins+Will to build their home on a 10,764-square-foot plot in Alto de Pinheiros, the main challenge for the architects was to find a way to respect the generous garden, which occupied about 50 percent of the site. 

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On the eastern corner of the site was a large and imposing tree with wide, outstretched branches. 

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The architects wanted to leave this tree undamaged, and also allow it to thrive within the new building. 

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They decided that the majestic tree was one of the best features of the site and used it the guiding force for their design. 

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After digitally scanning the tree and its branches, the architects developed the blueprint for the house around it. 

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The open-plan living, dining, kitchen, and reception area are arranged around the tree, so much of social interaction in the home happens in its presence.

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Using three-dimensional mapping, Perkins +Will collaborated with structural engineer Hélio Olga to construct a grid structure made of recycled wood to serve as a shelter for the communal areas. 

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The mapping process allowed the architects to accurately define the dimensions and heights of the grid in order to minimize the impact on the garden. 

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Glass sliding doors further enhance the connection between the interior and exterior of the house, and at night, outdoor lighting highlights the landscape of the garden. 

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The result is a home that not only brings the outdoors in, but that also respects the natural environment of its site. 


Project Credits: 

Architecture and interior design: Perkins+Will 

Builder: CPA Engenharia

Structural engineer: Benedicts 

Landscape design: Camila Vicari 

Lighting design: Laura Larrubia 

Sound engineer: Oguri, Audio e Video 

Wood structure engineer: Ita Construtora