This Cor-Ten House in Brazil Would Not Be Complete Without its Giant Home Library

This Cor-Ten House in Brazil Would Not Be Complete Without its Giant Home Library

By Sarah Akkoush
A modern dwelling by Brazilian design firm Atria cohesively embraces simplicity and abstraction.

Challenged with the constraint of building a home in the existing natural landscape and keeping all vegetation and trees intact, the architects at Brazilian firm Atria cleverly crafted a new home that was a custom fit to its environment. The client, a lawyer and teacher, envisioned a house that would be comfortable and sustainable, simple, and abstract. Central to the concept was an expansive home library that would function as book storage, and meeting place for friends, architects, artists, musicians.

The geometric front facade of the home is made of Cor-Ten steel, segregated into eight vertical panels. Juxtaposed with its lush natural environment, the front elevation is a minimal and abstract counterpoint to its surroundings. An exterior pool meets the facade at its base.

The Cor-Ten panels make up the library’s lateral facade and act as a light filter, preventing direct sunlight from penetrating in. The dynamic panels dramatically transform the appearance of the front facade, whether open or closed.

Architect Gustavo Costa calls the home library the "project’s heart." This central space houses the owner’s expansive collection of about 5,000 books, and acts as a meeting place for friends and colleagues. A Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Red and Blue chair completes the space.

The library’s entrance features massive panel doors made of tropical freijó wood. Inside, leather armchairs by Jorge Zalszupin accent the space.

The home’s living room can be kept open to the elements, or sectioned off with sliding glass walls. A natural concrete slab acts as an exterior barrier, and freijó wood and track lighting define the interior space. C10 sofa by Marcus Ferreira and vintage Poltrona Molé chair by Sergio Rodrigues provide casual seating. Across the partition wall, a Jader Almeida table anchors the dining room.

The same materials palette continues throughout the entire home. A cohesive marriage of Cor-Ten steel, handcrafted bricks, and marble floors come together at the home’s perimeter. The thick exterior walls were designed to act as an insulating barrier, shielding interior spaces against thermal loss.

With library's Cor-Ten shield open, the home’s facade is seen at night. The L shaped pedestrian pathway forces visitors to travel around the perimeter before entry, gradually experiencing the architectural composition step by step.


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