Tucked away high in the mountains of Brazil, a sophisticated yet rustic lake house serves as a refuge for friends and fun. The contemporary structure is built to take full advantage of the small man-made lake and secluded locale near Imigrante in Rio Grande do Sul.
Designed by Cadi Arquitetura for a 26-year-old DJ, the house has a large open space that is perfect for entertaining and relaxing. The 96-square meter structure has large glass doors that fuse the interior space with the exterior, putting the focus squarely on nature. It also has all the comforts of a stylish home – except for bedrooms.
The seamless flow from indoors to out make the deck an extension of the living space when the doors are open. Warm-toned wood is enhanced by the evening light and the flame from a small firebox for warming up in the cool weather adds extra ambiance. Sconces provide exterior lighting that accents, rather than detracts from, the organic nature of the lake house.
Materials used for the exterior of the house emphasize the rustic nature of the setting. Natural wood and unrefined Jacarandá stones make for an interesting exterior. In fact, the stone portion of the house is assembled in the old style, without mortar in the joints. Artful use of architectural lighting not only provides functional illumination but also highlight the foliage and the texture of the stone elements on the house.
Views of the 1,000-square meter lake are the focus from every angle of the house thanks to its three-sided design. The building backs up to the stone wall that bounds the property from the mountains and forest, with windows only on two sides.
The full view of the kitchen area shows the range of materials used. The natural wood ceiling is a warm contrast to the concrete floor and industrial style kitchen elements like the metal exhaust pipes that run to the ceiling. The unusual configuration of the gray cabinets elevate them to a true design element against the reddish brick backsplash. The open plan design offers plentiful seating at the kitchen island as well as the round glass table.
In a true fusion with the outdoors, the living space opens up entirely to the deck with sliding glass doors. The industrial rustic vibe continues throughout the space with a caged pendant over the contemporary kitchen island that features a thick wood slab resting on concrete end sections.
Sliding track doors open up to the outdoors, making the space feel like one with the lake area. This view also provides a glimpse of the wood and stone bench at the front of the house, which offers additional outdoor seating to enjoy the view.
The cooking area of the kitchen is confined to one corner and the concrete element in the kitchen is really a striking focal point in that section of the house.
A traditional style range and hood are tucked back in a hidden corner of the kitchen that is behind the concrete section. This front element contains grilling and rotisserie functions in the kitchen, instead of relegating them to the outdoors.
A pop of color comes from the green trim on the lower cabinetry. The upper cabinet arrangement highlights the brick backsplash, which is a nice contrast the modern-looking appliances and abundance of concrete in the space. Kitchen appliances are top-of-the-line and include the latest technology.
The dining area repeats the color and materials palette of the bar stools at the island. The mis of leather and metal elements are a perfect match for a space like this, matching the cool and casual vibe of the house.
Beyond the kitchen is the living room area, which is fully centered on the 3-meter long fireplace and large television. The area’s climate can be cold and humid, so the dramatic fireplace turns the necessity of a fire into a stylish design element. The wall surrounding the fireplace is all windows, drawing the eye outdoors and providing extra natural light to the interior. The same natural stone construction of the exterior is used as an accent in the living room. In addition, all the furnishings have a low profile, keeping the sight lines clear.
Because the main purpose of the lake house is leisure, the corner by the fireplace has an ingenious wide concrete bench that runs along the wall. It is perfect for displaying art but can also serve as table or seating for larger groups of visitors.
The side that houses the kitchen and the bathroom is all stone and devoid of windows. It also shows the minimalist landscaping that was designed to interfere with the natural environment as little as possible. In addition, this view makes it clear how valuable the design of the house is in placing the focus of the property on the lake.
Because the desire was minimal disturbance to the natural surroundings, the only other outdoor elements built were a stone bench and firepit. These provide a prime place to enjoy the lakeside at close proximity.
The retreat’s modest bathroom sports a minimalist design and clean-lined aesthetic. Industrial pendants hang above the stone vanity and long horizontal mirror. A side mounted faucet and sunken shelf in the sink take full advantage of the arrangement. Muted earth tones highlight the tile design of the floor.
Grafitti art and a black wall give the toilet area of the bathroom a bit of a club vibe and pick up on the thread of industrial accents used in the space. Street art-style painting done directly on the wall help keep the look clean and uncluttered.
This end of the house offers a good look at the fireplace components as well as the wonderful corner window that floods the living are with light. The house is also surrounded by an expanse of stone that gives guests plenty of room to park without blocking the views. The area can also be used to extend the deck for larger parties, which can spill out on to the pavement.
Directly viewed from the side, the separate elements of the house are visible, from the industrial fireplace to the dark-framed windows and stacked stone construction. This vantage point also shows how the design is entirely oriented toward the lake.
Privacy and security are ensured for this modern refuge by an entry gate that is formidable, yet fitting with the design of the lake house. A stone wall and sliding panel keep out prying eyes and uninvited guests.
From across the water, the lake house looks almost like an old-fashioned cabin, sitting like a cozy refuge backed up against the woods.