this $18,000 standard housing proposal will serve agricultural communities in brazil

this $18,000 standard housing proposal will serve agricultural communities in brazil


the quilombolas standard housing proposal in brazil 


constrained by an $18,000  budget, the standard housing proposal by studio ALTA escritório de arquitetura is aimed at the quilombolas communities of the brazilian tropical savanna. descendants of afro-brazilian slaves, the quilombolas are normally located in rural and suburbans areas of latin america. they possess a rich indigenous culture and follow a sustainable, agricultural lifestyle. based on that knowledge, the architects envisioned a single-house model with spaces that enable the family to go about their daily activities, especially the ones related to agriculture.

quilombolas standard housing
the roof eaves associated with the landscaping strategy create ideal insolation conditions



balancing privacy and conviviality


the team at ALTA escritório de arquitetura organized the spaces into two volumes to take advantage of natural conditions and guarantee sustainable habitability. one of those volumes holds the common area that is independent of the more private rooms. that said, both spatial blocks remain connected by a wide, shaded and ventilated outdoor area that can close off with partitions. to further facilitate agricultural activities and promote conviviality, the architects also linked the kitchen to the balcony and the patio. 

quilombolas standard housing
front balcony and kitchen façade detail show possibilities of integration and typological evolution



the proposed roofing structure for the quilombolas standard housing design expands beyond the boundaries of the walls, creating shaded areas outside of the residence where the family can cool down during hot weather. this component allows for better use of peripheral areas and preserves the traditional function of balcony spaces. additionally, the roof acts as an identifier of the dwelling in the middle of nature, ‘contributing to the cultural acceptance of the proposed architecture,’ comments the project team. 

quilombolas standard housing
integration between the balconies, kitchen and living room characterizes the social area



introducing Adobe walls and a timber frame design


beside spatial organization, the proposal prioritizes materials – like timber – that are easy to access, simple to build with, and allow for possible expansion of the house. in line with these characteristics, the architects suggested adobe blocks as the main building material since it guarantees good thermal inertia for the interiors which reduces the cost of insulating materials, artificial heating and cooling systems. finally, the adobe technique enables local extraction of raw material, greater control of construction waste on site and the possibility of returning it to nature. ultimately, this choice of material limits the environmental impacts of construction and CO2 emissions. 

adobe walls and timber frame design for 18000 social standard housing 8
internal view from the kitchen to the living room, with its characteristic ceiling height



a sustainable water system for home use and irrigation 


the residence gets its water supply from two sources: an upper reservoir that stores water pumped from the well and a cistern modeled into vertical tubes that collect rain water; the latter provides irrigation for the garden and agricultural plots. the sewage system, meanwhile, is activated by a modular mechanism that separates then treats both gray and dark water. this system features a settling tank, a biodigester, and a drying tank paired with constructed wetland systems. once the waters are treated, they can be used to irrigate. 

adobe walls and timber frame design for 18000 social standard housing 9
independent windows above each bed enhance the sense of individuality


adobe walls and timber frame design for 18000 social standard housing 7
the circulation axis of the house provides an optimized organization of activities




project info:

name: standard housing for quilombolas communities in brazilian cerrado
proposal by: ALTA escritório de arquitetura
location: brazil



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.



edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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