At first glance, this weekend house appears to be an architectural anomaly perched on the cliffs above the Sea of Crete or the Bay of Biscay, its stark white planes playing off of the islands dotting the undisturbed blue water beyond. But it is neither Greece nor France, it is Brazil, and the setting is not on the ocean but rather upon a steep incline above the colossal Furnas reservoir in Minas Gerais, among the most verdant and architecturally diverse of the country’s states.
Designed by Brazilian architects Carolina Jardim and (the late) Silvia Guedes as a secret playground for a family with three young children, the residence is 7,500 square feet of elegant muscle attuned to the ample, surreal vistas, with intentionally framed vignettes throughout. Even the partially covered terrace fronting the reservoir, in essence a seamless extension of the main living area, was designed to frame the views with a series of quadrilateral pillars, each seeming to reach farther toward the water than the last. “The owners asked that the nature and the beautiful lake views not only be preserved, but explored, by the architecture,” says Jardim, who says that she and Guedes “carried out endless studies before deciding on the ideal spot to place the house.”
TEXT: ERIKA HEET
PHOTOGRAPHY: JOMAR BRAGANÇA
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY+MARCH 2010