Project: Box House
Architects: Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato
Location: Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Area: 387 sq ft
Photographs by: Djan Chu
Box House by Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato
Alan Chu & Cristiano Kato have redesigned an old existing one-story house in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The new home is called the Box House and its construction certainly lives up to its name. The 387 square feet home is nestled 328 feet above sea level right next to two enormous rocks.
The bedroom is located in a suspended box while the living room, kitchen and bathroom are on street level.
From the architects: “It is a small construction with an equally simple program:A caretaker’s house of a property on an island on the North coast of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The site, at 100 meters above sea level, next to two enormous rocks, already had the old caretaker’s house, one-story house with stone walls and clay roof tiles.
The new building has 2 floors, a white suspended box, where the bedroom is and it is possible to see the continent and the São Sebastião Channel. Under it, at street level, are the living room, kitchen and bathroom.”
“The wood used on some doors and windows, staircase, shelves and furniture are leftovers of material used to make scaffoldings and molds for the white box reinforced concrete structure.The 3.00 m x 5.00 m white box is supported on one side by an existing retaining wall and on the other by a wall built with stones, a characteristic of local constructions.
This movement shapes the other 3 spaces of the construction, the access yard, between the box and the retaining wall that curves following the parking lot ramp’s floor, the courtyard, between the box and the rock and the void created under the box, where the living room is.The impact caused by the image of concise volume, in comparison with the large rock’s amorphous exuberance, gives it a strange sensation.”
“During the work, the caretaker Zé Maria, still not content with his future living quarters, compared it with a can of sardines, a container as those he sees passing through the channel or even a cooler, like those used by beachgoers to carry beer.”