Not everyone would be comfortable living in such close proximity to a forest but for some this is in fact a dreamy location. The JJO House definitely seems to call the forest its home and the relationship between the two seems strong and very well-balanced. The house is located in Cascatinha, in Brazil. It was built here by the team from Arqbox in 2018 and it offers a total of 280 square meters of living space immersed in nature.
The topography of the site was carefully analyzed before the design of the house was conceived. It had a very important role in determining the ideal organization of the spaces, the orientation of the volumes as well as their placement on the site. The fact that the plot is sloped inspired the architects to come up with a two-volume design plan. They organized the house into two separate structures, each containing a set of distinct functions and spaces. The structures are connected by a metal bridge.
One of the structures houses the social and private areas of the house while the other contains the garage and a few other spaces. A very important aspect here was the desire to establish communication with the nearby forest and with nature and the surroundings in general. This was done by using several different methods and strategies. One of them was related to the actual distribution of the spaces inside the buildings.
The living room, dining area and the kitchen occupy the upper floor of one of the volumes and this allows them to offer the most exquisite and dramatic views of the forest and the valley. An open terrace extends outward, establishing an even stronger relationship with the forest. The tall trees frame the terrace with their canopies, ensuring an intimate and comfortable ambiance.
The private functions of the house are situated at a lower level where they enjoy more privacy while still being closely connected to the surroundings. Large openings connect the indoor and outdoor, bringing the forest right into the bedrooms and framing spectacular views. The windows also let in a good amount of sunlight. The trees filter the light and provide shade.
Another strategy used by the architects to emphasize the connection between the house and the forest had to do with the array of materials used throughout the spaces. They selected simple and raw materials such as concrete and wood to create a pure and authentic interior design and to allow the focus to be on the views.