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by Jincy IypePublished on : Mar 02, 2023
What comes to mind when you think of a house on a cliff, bookended by the sea and stretching cloaks of grassland? Does its natural context integrate itself into the edifice, upstage it, or recede into the background?
Built over six years, the Vista House designed by Studio MK27 stretches idyllically, on a site sculpted by the lagging and constant action of Bahia’s resplendent waters in Brazil. Set against Trancoso’s sea scarps, and alluring beaches of vivid colours and beauty, Casa Vista is undeviating, continuous, and gestural, resting atop a 46 m high cliff, with all its living areas spread leisurely under one dramatic roof.
"From a bird's perspective, the elongated volume aims to frame the landscape like a wide-angle camera," shares architect and filmmaker Marcio Kogan, the founder of Sao Paulo-based Studio MK27, who has a knack for conceiving buildings defined by their dynamic aura and a strict relationship with the natural landscape, in chorus with airy interiors that seem monastic and luxurious at the same time, and cradled inside vast stretching horizontal volumes.
Apart from its conspicuous, window-less monolith form, the residential architecture gains distinction with its dynamic horizontal proportions, delineated by the extrusion of a cottage elemental section, and articulated through its generous, sixty m long being stretching unhurried in one direction. The seemingly simple, single-level structure boasts an impressive span of 45 m, rooted by closed volumes in its edges and containing the master suite and the kitchen. The rest of the dwelling was conceived as an indoor-outdoor living mass, in perpetual dialogue with its surroundings.
Built for the vistas and from them, the Vista House opens itself to the vibrant colours of its context, through its immense wide-screen span “overlooking the infinite blues,” the Brazilian architect says. Bookended by tropical biriba plantations, the 'audacity of the metallic structure' is what enables the contextual design's 45-meter-long void, balanced by the tactility and textural qualities of the organic materials that adorn it.
The holiday home commences with a glimpse of its dramatically elongated, shingled gable roof rendered in pebble grey, and overseeing its bucolic context, its contemporary architecture spelt through sun-lit interiors with effortless, earthy, and sensorial elegance.
Accessed through a gently winding flagstone path surrounded by a soft landscaped garden, the villa’s architecture then comes into focus with a creamy, textured facade design, wrapped in slender slats of ashy eucalyptus, seemingly growing over the building’s skin as 'petrified roots,' and reminiscent of traditional materials of northeastern Brazil made from the spindly branches of the biriba tree. In contrast, the low-slung roof, which plays on the typical shape of a fishing cottage with a triangular top, is articulated in recycled wood, accompanied by tiles that were handcrafted one by one.
Crafted through a unique alchemy of proportion, the movement of natural light and its play with the artificial, and a bucolic context of a tranquil seaside town, the Brazilian architecture enjoys an expansive, open-air verandah infusing its significant span, setting dialogue with gardens on either side and surrounding a white lower box. As 'a house within a house,' this waterfront volume hosts three bedrooms, a small den, a bathroom and a living room enveloped in perforated 'Viroc' panels (a special, dense wood-and-cement composite according to Studio MK27). By employing Viroc along with the spindly eucalyptus sections, the villa design gains interesting patterns of light and shadow throughout, while its heroic, overhanging roof guarantees that its inhabitants stay protected from any weather conditions.
"Independent of the main structure, this inner house can open itself completely as the Viroc panels work as folding screens,” explains Kogan, who conceived the visually serene holiday home with his MK27 colleagues, Samanta Cafardo (co-architect), Diana Radomysler (interior design) and Isabel Duprat (landscape architect).
Restrained yet vividly cinematic, like most of Kogan’s oeuvre, this ‘untied’ four-bedroom residential design is brought alive through a pale, sombre material and colour palette that favours its interaction with sunlight as well as the hues and textures surrounding it. The employed décor, furniture and furnishing enjoy being bleached by the sun, and elevated by their compositional dexterity. Concealed concrete columns support the quixotic span of the Vista House, which otherwise seems column-free at first glance.
The outside views swoop inside the interior design by means of soulful textures that refract and reflect light, "creating a dance of light and shadows on each surface, especially through the biriba slats and the Viroc perforated walls,” he continues. The unadorned interiors thus put at focus, material textures and surfaces that come alive as they interact with the sun’s daily path, and the surrounding hues of nature, fashioning the contextual architecture’s muted drama.
Framed tranquil by the grass, the sun and the sky, the Vista House with its surrounding landscape animating its pronounced linearity, is a study in balance, of embracing munificent nature while gently contrasting it with its modern sensibility. Inside, the inclusion of local materials and subdued pieces of furniture are arranged in a tender chorus with engineered furnishings, where monastic textures meet an extroverted, bold volume. "Nature's strong colours are filtered and framed by a muted palette. Closed volumes open themselves to open-air terraces and hallways. Precise boundaries are, ultimately, diluted by this permeable living,” concludes Studio MK27.
Name: Vista House (Trancoso House)
Location: Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil
Area: 10,573 sqm (site area); 843 sqm (built area)
Architect and Interior Designer: Studio MK27
Design team: Marcio Kogan (founder, lead architect); Samanta Cafardo (co-architect, project manager); Diana Radomysler (ID manager, Interior Design); Pedro Ribeiro (co-interior design); Beatriz Meyer, Carlos Costa, Giovanni Meirelles, Mariana Simas, Oswaldo Pessano
Contractor: Kross Engenharia
Structural Engineer: Inner Engenharia E Gerenciamento
Construction Manager: Sc Consult/ Eng. Sérgio Costa
Landscape Designer: Isabel Duprat Arquitetura Paisagística
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