Glass concrete rainforest retreat

Brazilian studio Atelier Branco has completed a glass house in the middle of the rainforest in São Paulo called Casa Bibliotheca, with a roof terrace where residents can “read and smoke a cigar while gazing at the stars”. It was created for a philosopher who wanted a private space to read and think.

It is located on a slope in the Atlantic Forest – a forest along the Atlantic coast of South America – and has a thick concrete roof that forms the base of a large 200 square meter terrace where you can enjoy nature in the middle of the Atlantic Forest. Planks of wood are laid in diagonal patterns to mark the deck, with a pool of water flowing around the perimeter.

In-situ concrete, poured in a single day of work, forms the main structure of the house, including the roof, stepped foundation and piers. Concrete steps also flank both sides of the property and lead to the roof. Huge glass walls with slender steel frames extend between the roof and base, offering views of the forest from inside the home.

Casa Bibliotheca is distributed over the three levels that leave the site. The concrete structure is exposed and wooden floors are added throughout to create continuity between the different areas. On the lower level there is an open plan kitchen, living and dining room with a glass door on the front wall opening to the outside. The middle floor forms a reading corner and a study with a large bookshelf against the back wall. Doors in the glass walls on either side lead to the outside staircase. On the third level there are two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms with exposed concrete surfaces.

Glass and concrete rainforest retreat for a philosopher - DigsDi
Olson Kundig's Rio House in Brazil is a secluded rainforest retreat.
Olson Kundig's Rio House in Brazil is a secluded rainforest retreat.

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