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Remote Rainforest Retreat

Olson Kundig designed a compact residence in Brazil that serves as a secluded retreat from city life. The Rio House was completed for a couple who lived in the urban core of Rio de Janeiro for many years. It is located next to Tijuca National Park with views of the city, the sea and the famous Christ the Redeemer.

Olson Kundig wanted to design a house that was as small as possible in his tropical jungle. Essentially a steel and glass box, the 139 square meter house hovers over land that is structurally supported by two concrete pillars.

Located in the Juçara palms and Cariniana trees on a 3.1 hectare site, the project takes advantage of its location and climate. The main floor has a screened in porch and an outdoor kitchenette with an indoor / outdoor fireplace. On the upper floor there is a bedroom in the north and living rooms in the south – including a kitchen, dining area and living room.

Local construction techniques have been used throughout the house, including walls made of concrete slabs and interior walls made of colored plaster over terracotta. The architects say the painted marine grade stainless steel – the main material of the home – can withstand the humid climate where corrosion is a problem. Manual pivot windows, a characteristic element of Olson Kundig’s work, and retractable window walls with insect screens ensure natural ventilation. Finally, solar water heating allows the house to function during intermittent blackouts. Check out the cool pictures of this amazing house below!

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