A Tropical Retreat In Rio Built Of Steel And Glass

Situated on a piece of land adjacent to the Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro, this beautiful house serves as a peaceful and quiet retreat, a place to engage with nature and to enjoy all the amazing landscape unfolding all around it. The project was recently completed by the architects and designers at Olson Kundig and it looks magnificent. The team faced several challenges throughout the project and succeeded in making the house as small as possible without compromising on looks or comfort.

The interior section of the house is raised on top of concrete supports which maximizes the viewsView in gallery
The interior section of the house is raised on top of concrete supports which maximizes the views

The result was a 1,500 sq ft (130 sqm) structure with large windows, gorgeous views and a very inviting interior. The primary material used for the main structure is stainless steel in response to the humid climate and the risk of corrosion. It was used in combination with concrete and glass for the exterior and with lots of wood for the interior.

The social areas are clustered on the Southern end of the house which exposes them to views of the city, the sea and the iconic Christ statueView in gallery
The social areas are clustered on the Southern end of the house which exposes them to views of the city, the sea and the iconic Christ statue
The house is surrounded by lush and vibrant greenery and tropical vegetation on all sidesView in gallery
The house is surrounded by lush and vibrant greenery and tropical vegetation on all sides

As seen from the outside, the house resembles a big box made of steel and glass, supported by two large concrete piers, one taller than the other. It’s suspended high above the ground which leaves a big open area below. The architects turned this space into a beautiful sitting area with comfortable chairs and a green sofa facing a fireplace. There’s also an outdoor kitchen and an al fresco dining area all part of the same screened porch volume. By elevating the indoor section of the house, the architects managed to maximize the views and to take full advantage of the magnificent panoramas and the natural sunlight. The southern end of the house has views over the city and the sea and the northern section is facing the tropical forest.

The cantilevered steel and glass volume shelters a beautiful and spacious porch below it with an indoor-outdoor fireplaceView in gallery
The cantilevered steel and glass volume shelters a beautiful and spacious porch below it with an indoor-outdoor fireplace
The fireplace is built into one of the concrete supports and completed this cozy sitting areaView in gallery
The fireplace is built into one of the concrete supports and completed this cozy sitting area
The porch also incorporates an outdoor kitchen and a casual dining area able to accommodate eight peopleView in gallery
The porch also incorporates an outdoor kitchen and a casual dining area able to accommodate eight people
The indoor sitting area is very similar to the porch area and has full-height windows all around itView in gallery
The indoor sitting area is very similar to the porch area and has full-height windows all around it
The house has manual pivot windows and retractable walls which ensure natural ventilation and panoramic in the living areasView in gallery
The house has manual pivot windows and retractable walls which ensure natural ventilation and panoramic in the living areas
The primary materials used throughout the house are stainless steel, glass, concrete and woodView in gallery
The primary materials used throughout the house are stainless steel, glass, concrete and wood
The private area of the house is oriented toward the North which gives it a stunning view over the tree canopiesView in gallery
The private area of the house is oriented toward the North which gives it a stunning view over the tree canopies
The overall design direction is based on a modern aesthetic infused with industrial detailsView in gallery
The overall design direction is based on a modern aesthetic infused with industrial details