Casa Senses, featured at CasaCorRio 2023, is a tranquil countryside hotel retreat designed by UP3 Architecture. Crafted from repurposed containers and a metal structure, the design draws inspiration from contemporary rural homes, seamlessly integrating indoor spaces with nature. Natural materials, fluid layouts, and muted hues create a timeless, minimalist luxury. Highlights include a tree-filled opening in the ceiling, a kitchen island, and a spa bathroom. Transparency, organic forms, and discrete functionality define this understated, elegant retreat.
The Casa Senses is a hotel refuge proposal in the countryside built at CasaCorRio 2023 by architects Cadé Marino, Michelle Wilkinson, and Thiago Morsch, from UP3 Architecture office, at the invitation of Brentwood, which provided all the furniture for the space, including armchairs, tables, chairs, sofas, bench, bed, etc. The house was assembled from three reused containers and a metal structure that allowed expanding the built area, in a box format, up to 105m2.
The main inspiration for the project came from contemporary country houses, with solutions that promote maximum integration of the internal environments with the surrounding nature. “We named this refuge ‘senses’ because our intention here is to awaken different sensations in visitors through natural materials, textures, lighting, ventilation, and vegetation, combined with organic and rounded shapes, that instinctively connect us to the environment,” Cadé explains.
The concept of integration was also explored internally through fluid spaces that communicate with each other, subtly compartmentalized to avoid abrupt visual barriers. “Casa Senses also bets on silent luxury by incorporating natural elements, such as wood, stone, cotton, linen, leather, and plants, into the interior architecture, to achieve a discreet, timeless, and elegant decoration,” emphasizes Michelle. “The idea is not to show off, as today the notion of luxury is more related to well-being, timelessness, good quality products, and, of course, discretion,” adds Thiago.
Following this line of reasoning, the entire floor of the house was covered with wooden planks, the walls and portals with travertine marble slabs, and the aluminum frames of the main facade (which function as pivoting sunshades) received a special paint with the appearance of wood and a wicker mesh closure, instead of traditional glass.
Another highlight of the project is the opening in the ceiling where a large tree passes through, which was incorporated into the internal space and surrounded by bird’s nest ferns, serving both as a winter garden and a divider between the social area and the intimate area of the dwelling. “The opening is completely open to let the rain and the sun in whenever they want, without ceremony,” jokes Cadé.
The architects also highlight the kitchen concentrated in an island, with a sideboard and buffet feel (designed by them and entirely made of Dekton to hide the appliances) and the spa bathroom dedicated to self-care, with a soaking tub against the glass wall, facing the external garden.
“In general, the combination of large transparent glass panels, large integrated spaces, natural materials, discreet colors, minimalist shapes, and solutions that hide functions sums up the proposal of our space at CasaCor,” concludes architect Michelle Wilkinson.