While nearly the definition of an adorable regional half-ruin to a passerby, from a livability standpoint, essentially everything was wrong with the original worn-out, nearly-rubble house that sat on this lot.
Using elements of the existing retaining wall (largely left intact) and reusing stones, doors and window shutters from the former residence (partly demolished out of necessity), a quaint new cube by Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato was erected from the remnants of a clay-roofed, stone-walled caretaker’s home in Brazil.
Where the former dwelling was largely closed off and took no advantage of the view, a bright white box appears to establish two stories and peer back out on the valley below.
The front lower-level wall presents a private facade at street level, and wraps visitors to the entrance via the looping road and retaining wall that form a natural path and partial enclosure.
Throughout, tactically recycled materials tie the structure to history while naturally saving costs during the reconstruction and addition, but the views, well, those are entirely novel for the new owners.
“It is a small construction with an equally simple program:A caretaker’s house of a property on an island on the North coast of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The site, at 100 meters above sea level, next to two enormous rocks, already had the old caretaker’s house, one-story house with stone walls and clay roof tiles.”
“The new building has 2 floors, a white suspended box, where the bedroom is and it is possible to see the continent and the São Sebastião Channel. Under it, at street level, are the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The wood used on some doors and windows, staircase, shelves and furniture are leftovers of material used to make scaffoldings and molds for the white box reinforced concrete structure.The 3.00 m x 5.00 m white box is supported on one side by an existing retaining wall and on the other by a wall built with stones, a characteristic of local constructions.”