in santa teresa, a hilly neighborhood in central rio de janeiro, carla juaçaba has designed a house that embeds itself within its sloping terrain. completely invisible from the adjacent street, the dwelling sits within an area densely populated with trees — all of which had to be maintained as part of the project.

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
the house’s internal programs are split between two floors
image by federico cairoli (also main image)

 

 

the first challenge for carla juaçaba was to design a home that could be built on a relatively low budget. a lightweight structure was devised, with repeated elements that ensured the project’s affordability. considered to be the most important element of the design, the partially translucent roof comprises four different inclination lines and two different materials.

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
the home is immersed within its forest setting
image by federico cairoli

 

 

developed as a pavilion that runs parallel to the site’s contour lines, the house’s internal programs are split between two floors. entry is provided at the upper level, alongside the kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms, while the lower level contains the living room. the two storeys are connected by a glazed gallery that fills the residence with natural light.

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
the roof is considered to be the most important element of the design
image by federico cairoli

 

 

the home’s opacity projects silhouettes, which can be seen from both inside and outside. from within, the shadows of the trees and their leaves remain visible, while the shadows of those walking across the elevated gallery can be viewed externally. at night, artificial light from inside the house changes its appearance, transforming the residence into an illuminated lantern.

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
from within, the shadows of the trees and their leaves remain visible
image by federico cairoli

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
the home had to be built on a relatively low budget
image by federico cairoli

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
at night, artificial light from inside the house changes its appearance
image by clovis cunha

carla juacaba casa santa teresa house
the residence is located in santa teresa, a hilly neighborhood in central rio de janeiro
image by clovis cunha

 

 

project info:

 

name: santa teresa hosue
author: carla juaçaba
trainee: carlos zebulun
engineer: cerne engenharia
photography: federico cairoli, clovis cunha

 

location: santa teresa, rio de janeiro, brazil
year of the project: 2017
total area: 140 sqm / 1,507 sqf