Fortunata House / Luciano Lerner Basso
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Manufacturers : Broil Oil Heating, dimibu, Moschetta frames, starting in, isomaf, Lajeadense Glass, Wood circumference, Noppin do Brazil, Pezzi electrical products, Polimix Concreto, Roca, Brazilian Sika, Trevizzo glass
Text description provided by the architects. FORTUNATA, bn. female. from the Italian language: one touched by happiness. A house built around a tree, where reason is the main instrument in the search for the spirit of life.
Located in the extreme south of Brazil, the Fortunata house is a project that emphasizes the essential activities of architecture: carefully reading the environmental conditions; accurately determining the construction processes; the correct settlement of the program of requirements; and the harmony of the built forms.
Built in a traditional, open neighborhood, the house was implanted around a huge Araucaria Angustifolia tree. Access from the sidewalk to the entrance of the house is via a winding dirt and gravel path, the street enters the courtyard and continues up to the entrance door. There are no walls, just a translucent metal screen. The floor of the house is intended to be equal to the floor of the city; the desire to create urban spaces without barriers, to visually integrate the public and the private.
The insertion into the landscape is a direct response to the limitations of the place. With a view to minimal intervention in the topography, the main volume is supported by a piloti that subtly touches the ground and adapts to the natural conformation of the terrain. All the material resulting from the excavation of the foundations was used; the earth was used as a slope for the vehicle maneuvering area; the stones were used in the construction of the retaining walls and landscape features. The native vegetation has been preserved almost entirely. If it were possible for a huge crane to lift the house and land elsewhere, the original site would remain practically intact, with no traces of the structure.
Designed for a young couple, Fortunata’s programmatic layout is simple: on the lower level, below the pilotis, there is a carport; entering the house are the vestibule and the laundry room. On the top floor, a structural open plan has been designed from the geometric union of four rectangles, where the separation between the functions living, working and sleeping is given by the spatial condition generated by the server core and by the use of light elements. There are no dead ends or closed areas to socialize. Circulation is a continuous movement that permeates flexible and multifunctional environments. This condition allows the house to take on different configurations and follow the changes in the lives of the owners.
To round out the program, three porches built with the wood used in the concrete formwork connect the house to the back patio; they extend the living room to the landscape. Without curtains or visual barriers between inside and outside, the resident has permanent contact with nature. At the same time, he lives in the house, he also lives in the forest.
The locomotive cast in sight is used as the total material. It is in the structure, in the fences, in the steps and even in the fixed furniture. A material that ages with the same beauty as nature, withstands bad weather well and requires little maintenance, even in the dampness of the forest. Moreover, it is a common system in the region, with a lot of skilled labor and lower construction costs than other systems with the same virtues. A structure that shows itself raw, revealing a construction process that is rigorous and precise at the same time, but also shows the perfect imperfections of handmade work. A work where matter and technique are indivisible.
We designed a quiet architecture that maintains a clear dialogue with nature, either through its opaque walls that disappear into fog in the harsh southern winter, or the way the forest is reflected in the glass on blue sky days. The plastic quality lies in the relationships between surfaces, cavities, lights, landscape and textures. A project that expands the field of architecture itself and brings reflections on the relations between house and city, between man and nature.
When dealing with the sustainable aspects, in addition to minimal intervention in the existing vegetation and topography, we underline the use of reforested wood in the concrete formwork; reuse of this wood for the construction of the verandas; cross ventilation in all environments of continuous use; high-quality frames with thermal cutting; double glass; thermal insulation with EPS in the floor and roof sheets; treatment of the visible concrete with solvent-free products; heating system powered by ecological fuel; use of rainwater for irrigation; natural lighting in all rooms, including the use of skylights; artificial lighting made entirely with energy-saving lamps, including automation for controlling external lighting.