A Brazilian Home With a Touch of Japanese Zen

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Designed with two parallel wings separated by a shallow pool, this striking São Paulo residence is lined with rows of timber columns.

Laminated timber porticoes line the corridors in both wings. Along the perimeter of the house, the timber beams on the ceiling are supported by a metal frame that encase the windows, allowing the ceiling to extend outwards to the horizon. 

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The ceiling beams and porticoes are each placed approximately 1.31 feet apart, creating a dynamic linear rhythm on the façade and within the house. Its aesthetic brings to mind Japanese landscaped gardens, with sections that recall the tori gates of Kyoto’s famous Fushimi Inari shrine.

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São Paulo-based Jacobsen Arquitetura positioned the house on the highest part of its sloping plot in order to distance and shield the property from neighboring houses, and to maximize the views. 

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The house is composed of two parallel wings that are of similar width and length, but offset from one another. 

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One wing houses the communal programs, while the other houses private areas like the bedrooms and guest rooms.

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At the core of the house is a main entrance hall that connects both wings. This corridor is accessed through a wooded path that hovers above a serene reflecting pool. The walkway extends through this glass-walled hall, out to the garden beyond. 

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One side of this entrance hall connects to an open space with a living and dining area, home cinema, and gym.

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A continuous concrete terrace with overhanging eaves wraps around this side of the house and leads to a swimming pool and decked outdoor space.

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On the lower section of the slope is a stone-walled volume, placed perpendicular to the two parallel wings. This structure accommodates a large children's playroom, dog kennels, service and storage areas, and living quarters for the property's staff.

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Along the edge of the house, the extruded wood beams from the ceiling create a powerful connection with the surrounding landscape, while within, the beams serve as frames for tranquil views of the interior courtyard and pond.  

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Project Credits: 

- Architecture: Jacobsen Arquitetura 

- Builders: MFC Engenharia 

- Interior Design: Marina Linhares

- Structural engineer: Ycon

 - Landscape: Isabel Duprat 

- Lighting: Lightworks 

- Cabinetry: Zamaro 

- Wood structure: Ita Construtora