Framed by Sugarloaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay, and Corcovado, this penthouse was in terrible shape when it was purchased. The client, however, understood the enormous potential of the property, with its rare views and ample internal spaces. Our task was to bring the surrounding nature inside the house from all sides, and create a pathway through a variety of scenes and landscapes.
The first step was to organize a brief across three floors, in an attempt to integrate and broaden the residence’s spaces. A new upper floor was constructed, leaning out over Rio de Janeiro, and the entryway was shifted to the middle floor. The three levels are linked by a staircase, below a large atrium that brings even more light to the center of the apartment and creates a sense of communion between the house and the natural world around it. The structural columns, with their unpredictable shapes, are the result of a certain “architectural archaeology”: these singular forms were incorporated into the design after having been discovered during the demolition process.
At one extreme, two bedrooms look out over Guanabara Bay, while a bedroom at the other end is faced with the majesty of Sugarloaf Mountain. Laterally opening glass doors unveil the landscape with no visual hindrance. Reflecting both sky and mountaintops, the reflecting pool virtually fuses house and sea. Farther out, small vertical gardens block out the view of neighboring buildings and serve to frame the iconic scenery.