A Modernist House in Brazil Discretely Embraces the Surrounding Tropical Nature

Located amid lush, rolling hills sprinkled with forest groves in the outskirts of Campinas, a colonial-era city near Sao Paulo, Brazil, Bela Vista House enjoys, as its name suggests, quite the view. Brazilian practice Bernardes Arquitetura has taken advantage of the pristine location and designed a house that marvels in its architectural and landscaping scope. Taking the form of a concrete podium partly built into the hillside with a slender glass pavilion sitting on top, the low-slung building is elegantly modest, managing to keep a low profile despite an expansive total built area of 2,650 square metres. With communal areas centred around the pavilion and private quarters unfolding on the lower level, the volumetric composition also reflects the interior configuration as well as ensures unobstructed views from all indoor spaces. Featuring planted roof sections, surrounding gardens and an expansive infinity pool perched above the valley, the house is harmoniously integrated into the landscape, wholeheartedly embracing the tropical nature in modernist discretion.

Sitting on top of the elongated concrete podium, the modernist-inspired square-shaped pavilion is topped by an expansive floating roof with deep overhangs on all sides that shade the glass enclosure from the summer sun as well as collect rainwater which is used for irrigation. At the centre of the pavilion, an atrium with a planted courtyard connects the two floors and brings natural light into the lower level. Living and dining areas are located on the upper level, as is the main entrance, taking advantage of the sweeping views through the glazed curtain walls, while across the pool deck, a separate glass and concrete volume, integrated into the hillside, houses an informal dining area, playroom and gym. One level down, four bedrooms, a study, and a spa room coalesce around the patio garden, while staff quarters, two car parks, and technical areas can be found nearby. A detached granite volume adjacent to the main building connected by an elevated pathway houses the guest rooms.

The understated elegance of the exterior is carried on inside where a minimalist design language of crisp, clean lines, natural materials and muted tones allows the views of the surroundings to take centre stage. White plastered walls and beige stone floors underpin the interiors’ pared-down aesthetic, with the pavilion’s sweeping timber-clad ceilings evoking a sculptural sensibility while guiding views towards the exterior, and soft fabrics in tangerine, red and brown hues in the furniture, pillows and rugs add warmth, ultimately making Bela Vista House both a marvel to look at and look out of.