A Modern Concrete Retreat by Oscar Niemeyer Is Available For the First Time

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Previously kept a secret, an undulating concrete home designed by the legendary Brazilian architect is listed for the first time at approximately $3,913,650.

The massively influential modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer is best known for his design of Brazil's civic buildings in the planned city of Brasília, which became the country's capital in 1960, and for his collaboration on the United Nations headquarters in New York. Niemeyer proclaimed that his work was influenced by Le Corbusier, but went "in a different direction." Unlike Corbusier, Niemeyer used abstract forms and curves throughout his explorations in reinforced concrete instead of the former's boxy, rectilinear forms.

Built in 1974 for a prosperous Brazilian family, the five-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot Alto de Pinheiros is located in a verdant, tropical development near the Pinheiros River in Western São Paulo. The home possesses many of the fundamental features that made Niemeyer so important to the international modernist movement.

The main living space opens to a lush, tropical garden, creating a seamless integration between the home and its natural environment. 

The main living space opens to a lush, tropical garden, creating a seamless integration between the home and its natural environment. 

Until now, the home has been privately owned by the same family, only known by scholars and dedicated Niemeyer fans—it wasn't even listed by the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation (due to both political and privacy issues). The home, however, has now resurfaced and is hitting the market for the first time ever at approximately $3,913,650. Scroll ahead for a glimpse into this unique architectural property.

The roof is a low, flat, sinuous slab atop a long and slightly curved volume of rooms.

The roof is a low, flat, sinuous slab atop a long and slightly curved volume of rooms.

The general layout of the home follows the same strategy Niemeyer used for many of his larger public buildings: a stable, grounded block anchors an organic, free-form, horizontal plane. The plane emerges fully glazed, connecting to the outdoors like an extended porch.

The general layout of the home follows the same strategy Niemeyer used for many of his larger public buildings: a stable, grounded block anchors an organic, free-form, horizontal plane. The plane emerges fully glazed, connecting to the outdoors like an extended porch.

A hovering, monolithic concrete volume forms the bedroom wing and covers the carport. The rear of this volume is the only portion of the home that is visible from the street. 

A hovering, monolithic concrete volume forms the bedroom wing and covers the carport. The rear of this volume is the only portion of the home that is visible from the street. 

A sinuous ramp links public to private spaces. Many elements of the design were devised to ensure a sense of privacy for the homeowners.

A sinuous ramp links public to private spaces. Many elements of the design were devised to ensure a sense of privacy for the homeowners.

The home embraces its natural surroundings; most areas, including the main living space, open to the lush garden behind the property that was designed by the legendary Brazilian modernist landscaper, Roberto Burle Marx. 

The home embraces its natural surroundings; most areas, including the main living space, open to the lush garden behind the property that was designed by the legendary Brazilian modernist landscaper, Roberto Burle Marx. 

Alto de Pinheiros is being listed for 13,000,000 Brazilian Real (approximately $3,913,650) through Architecture For Sale. See the full listing here

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