Mareines Patalano Architects - Leaf House 1

Mareines+Patalano Architects – Leaf House

Located south of Rio de Janeiro, Leaf House is a sublime construction in form of a leaf by Patalano Mareiner + Architects. Perfectly adapted to the tropical climate, the roof protects areas of the house and keeps the sun’s heat out.

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This project drew inspiration from Brazilian indigenous architecture, the result of hot and humid climates such as the location of the house, Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro.
The roof functions as a large sheet that protects from the sun every room in the house, as well as the spaces between them. These spaces represent the essence of the project, used by people who frequent the house.

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The very generous heights of these spaces, wich varies from 3 to 9 metres, allow the SE trade winds from the sea to pass perfectly longitudinally trough the building, providing natural ventilation and and passive cooling both to the enclosed and open spaces. We see it as low-tech eco-efficiency, where it has the greatest impact, the concept of the architectural design.

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There are no corridors and inside and outsed are almost fused. Many sliding doors, most glazed, open up the enclosed spaces and let the sea breeze in.

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The landscape is everywhere on the ground floor, and the curvy swimming pool snakes into the house. When it passes below the formal dining room, it turns into a pond with aquatic plants and fishes, reaching the rear “veranda”. This veranda is a resting space with five Brazil’s indians’ style hammocks. This space is referred to as the “brazilian lounge”.

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The roof structure is made of laminated reflorestation wood (eucaliptus), capable of crossing big spans (20 metres is tle biggest here) with delicacy and warm aesthetics. The roof is covered in small reflorestation wood tiles (pinus taeda), that easily adapt to the complexes surfaces of it. It also collects rain water via the central steel column to be reused in gardening and flushing toilets.

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All surfaces finishes, except for glass and pre-oxidized copper are natural: grey tiles of stone from the site, bamboo meshes, local wood from remanagement forests, earthy flooring and wood reused from old electricity posts.

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