Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

 

If I had to nominate a favourite typology in domestic architecture (it’s a question we’re all asked most days), it would be the courtyard house. And this one, by São Paulo’s UNA Arquitetos, is a cracker.

A good courtyard house does many things at once – holds the edges of a site, opens up a kernel of space in the middle, cradles privacy within, permits views across into other rooms and in so doing enlivens opposite ends of the home. I could go on. I wonder if it speaks to primal feelings of hearth/home/shelter… doubtless this has been theorised enough by more learned people than myself, so let’s just enjoy some lovely images. The photographs here are by Leonardo Finotti.

 

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

 

There’s a lot to drink in here. The simple materials palette makes the architecture raw, spare, and tough. This is saved from bleakness by the wonderfully wriggly trees and feather soft landscaping in the internal courtyards. It’s a very simple move but it makes all the difference in my eyes, and makes the place domestic rather than institutional.

 

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

 

I’m intrigued by the concrete tie holes running along the joints here. I also like the way that a splash of the dark paint has been applied where the steel beams meet the concrete – someone has given thought to the small junctions and components of this place.

 

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

 

Architecture speak alert. Spatial dynamism. There, I’ve said it.  But look at how much more interesting these rooms are on account of that courtyard, that glimpse into the upper hall, and the rooms beyond. The eye is drawn deeper into the house in a way it wouldn’t if the view was of, say, your neighbour’s house… unless of course you are lucky enough to have neighbours with a lovely lovely house…

 

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

Bacopari House by UNA Arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil | Yellowtrace.

 

I don’t love reglit as a building material but when it’s used well and has this lantern-like quality by night, there’s nothing quite like it is there?

And that’s that. Books furnish a room, a courtyard maketh my fantasy house… this place achieves both, I’d better move to Brazil.

Ende.

-Luke.


[Photos © Leonardo Finotti, courtesy of UNA Arquitetos.]

 

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