Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Arthur Casas in Santana de Parnaíba
Arthur Casas graduated from the FAU/Mackenzie in 1983. His practice covers architecture, interior design and furniture. One of his most famous works being the Hotel Emiliano (São Paulo) and the remodelling of the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires. Well awarded he has offices in São Paulo and New York.
This is just another best residential project by Arthur Casas in Iporanga - São Paulo, Brazil. The use of prefabricated concrete panels and a steel skeletal structure made this a super quick build in Brazilian terms at just 10 months. I love the two storey glass sliding door! Fantastic! It's just so open! Clad in local wood with a double height central living area flanked by cozy sleeping and eating spaces, wonderful!
Completed without interruption open plan living, not only in the flow between living areas, but also with the outdoors, was one of the most important points in the brief for this residence of steel and concrete, situated in a gated condominium in Santana de Parnaíba, a city in the greater São Paulo area. The organisation of construction, detailing and finishing of this work into compatible mini projects to be completed simultaneously, allowed the house to bens in just 10 months.
When one talks of minuscule detailing, compatibility of projects, sequencing and the use of prefabricated solutions, the first image to mind is large skyscrapers or buildings usually commercial in nature. This residence of around 500 built square metres, designed by Arthur Casas and finished in 10 months, is one of the exception that confirms the rule.
The end of the living area is closed off by that HUGE sliding picture door, painted white. This automated door moves easily to close off either the living area, or protect the outdoor BBQ area from the wind. "She moves so easily that we opted to automate it, in order to slow it's movement and prevent accidents," says Casas. The two storey living room is even more impressive due to the use of floor to ceiling glass along two of its sides. Which as the architect wanted, allows light and the outside in.
The choice of a steel skeletal structure for the build was one of the factors that drove the project towards a production line factory type build. "The system requires modulation and planned solutions" says Arthur Casas. This requirement, meant that 4 months were invested in pre build planning. Time spent in planning was recuperated in the clockwork executed construction of the house, that didn't need on the spot alterations, so common these days in an architecturally designed house.
For the outer protective skin of the house, Casa chose prefabricated concrete panels, some raw, others with a sprayed on textured mineral coating. Common in industrial warehouses, this solution appeared as a practical alternative, functional and easily integrated into the design of the house, defined by svelte lines and great transparent openings. The same prefab concrete slabs but without the textured coating, make up the external patios.
Internally ,the house is define by two symmetrical blocks and for integrated areas. "In the brief, the client made it very clear that what they didn't want was living compartmentalised by walls" says Casas. The division of rooms was made longitudinally, reserving half the downstairs area of the larger space for the kitchen, dining and outdoor Churrasqueria (a proper BBQ), all linked visually and divided by sliding glass doors. The other half was left for a small guest bedroom, atelier and large living area, separated from the dining area by a pivoting door and the fireplace.
The wooden stairs lead up to the second storey with the master and another guest bedroom. The open circulation areas is protected by a glass railing as is the stairway. Also on this floor, but with a private entry are the laundry/service areas and maids quarters.
To unify the build, the architect specified very few finishing materials. The Tauari wood floors appear in all rooms, even the kitchen and the concrete walls are plastered internally. The exception being the bathroom with marble flooring and tiled walls.