A sprawling home in the Brazilian countryside underwent an architectural transformation that took it from a boxy warren of spaces into an expansive rural oasis. Located in Ibiuna, about 100 kilometers from the city of Sao Paulo, the home is surrounded by forests and looks out over a large reservoir. The new renovations have created a casual, rustic residence that connects with the natural surroundings but does not compete with the beautiful views of the water and forests.
Throughout the home, the interiors were limited by incredibly low drop ceilings and the old layout was generally quite fragmented with the various spaces having little connection to the outdoors.
The new design by Estúdio Penha makes the interior much broader and eliminates the barriers between the outdoors and the indoors, making a relaxing and open space. Key in creating the right country atmosphere in the home was the carefully selected set of materials that include natural and rustic choices, such as stone, brick, and wood.
The renovations removed the existing ceilings and opened up the roof structure, exposing the beams and making the ceiling as high as possible. The result is grand but it required structural reinforcement, so the architects incorporated metal trusses that run across the entire living area, allowing it to be fully open.
The large open-plan space actually encompasses four smaller living environments: the living room, dining room, game area and intimate lounge, all of which are connected by a central fireplace that is open on all sides.
All parts of the 1,100-square-meter home were redesigned to erase the divide between interior and exterior spaces, creating the feeling of being one with the reservoir. The social living space was expanded and the kitchen and service areas were relocated, which allowed a formerly isolated indoor patio to be connected with the veranda, which faces the reservoir.
The indoor and outdoor areas are unified by the common brick floor, and are delineated by large sliding windows that run from floor to ceiling. Metal architectural framing adds visual interest to the windows without detracting from the view.
The well-equipped kitchen stays true to the country style, making it casual and completely family-friendly. It’s an ideal spot for family meals as well as spontaneous gatherings with guests. Rustic furnishings with a farm theme strike just the right note in the bright space, which also features the exposed metal trusses.
The terra cotta color of the tile on the island is accented by the patterned hydraulic tile floor and both echo the red sandstone used in exterior spaces. The stainless-steel counters are easy-care and practical while adding a touch of some urban modernity. The cabinets are made of solid cumaru wood.
Outdoors, the architects chose to use red sandstone for the patio because it is the color of the soil in the area. The swimming pool was done in green slate to resemble a natural pond. The exterior of the home features a stone wall that runs along the back facade and into the home as a feature in the living space. In the patio area, the stone wall is paired with a pergola made of metal and covered with vines, creating a spacious veranda for the outdoor kitchen and dining space. The focal point is definitely the wood-fired copper pizza oven, which was imported by the owner who owns an Italian restaurant.
All of the existing pillars in the veranda space were restored, except for one facing the living room. That particular pillar was taken out to open up the view to the infinity pool and reservoir. All of them were reinstalled with new versions that use iron for support because they had deteriorated because of moisture.
Just as in the common areas of the home, the drop ceilings were also removed in the bedrooms, which dramatically expanded the space there as well. Previously, although the windows were large, they had shutters that would open only partially. These were converted into large sliding doors that run the full length of the exterior façade and can be opened. The exterior of the window frames as well as the rainwater pipes were all painted the color of wine, bringing some color variation to the exterior and accenting the red sandstone. The bedroom space in the home is actually two separate wings with the living area in between. One side contains three bedrooms suites and the other has two.
The main suites have corner bathrooms with a small ventilation patio connected to the shower. The wall was replaced by windows and the ceiling turned into a glass pergola. This brings in an amazing amount of natural light, offers up a fabulous view of the sky and completely integrates the space with the green outdoors.
All the bathroom walls and floors are lined with ivory-colored Atacama cement boards, which were also used to construct the sinks. These deep basins have a unique silhouette because they look like boxes that pop out of the wall. Exposed pipes are used a design element in the bathrooms and run throughout the house, a little like linear sculptures that unify the various parts of the home.
This view of the seating area on the patio highlights the forest surrounding the house as well as the rustic, relaxed and easy-care furnishings used to preserve the ease that comes with a marvelous home in the countryside.