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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Gutter House in Guaíba, Brazil by Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

 
July 10th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

The house has a naturalistic character, with its structure and covering being molded “in loco”, through the use of   traditional construction techniques. The openings, exterior walls and other similar elements were designed and executed by local professionals, with no predominant suppliers.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

  • Architects: Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental
  • Project: Gutter House
  • Location: Guaíba, RS-Brazil
  • Photography: Alexandre Prass
  • Project team: Arq. Alexandre Rögelin Prass
  • Area: 74,91 m²
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Construction Year: 2011

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

In 2010 a young couple with two children dreamed of building their own house, and for that, they enrolled in the Brazilian Programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida, (My house, My life). They wanted   to live near their parents and not far from the city centre.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Furthermore, they wanted to help actively in the house design process and not only have a common standard ready-made house, as the available houses of the programme are most of the time.  The solution was to get financial assistance. However, their income only allowed a maximum of R$ 80.000,00, which should include the  purchase of the land and the construction price. A very challenging task.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

After choosing the site, the big challenge was to overcome the limitations of the Brazilian Programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida, and so, provide the opportunity of living in a house with contemporary architectural  concepts with  its functional, technical and aesthetic  qualities. The low amount of money available to build the house demanded dexterity to optimise the interior spaces and for choosing building materials and construction techniques.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Functionally, the house is developed   along a generous concrete gutter, raised 2.10m above the floor and located in the central axis of the house. It connects all the rooms of the house. This strategy is intended to:

  • Simplify the construction by structuring all the different roofs with a view to collecting the rain water.
  • Eliminate the necessity of interior beams above the doors, because all of them are located under the gutter.
  • Facilitate the future enlargement process of the house as all future rooms can be easily built along the concrete gutter.
Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

The fact that the clients would prefer  an inward facing  house with no openings to the street demanded the design process to develop itself around the gardens, which not only are part of all the activities that might happen in the house, but also give the house the sense of amplified spaces, even being  small ones. The rooms, as large and well integrated as possible, change the perception of isolated functions, transforming them into a set of great living spaces.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

The use of low cost and easily available materials, combined with local labour and creative ways of arrangements and finishing, made it possible to achieve some sofisticated design results. The extensive work involved with the detailing of the project made it possible to eliminate some unnecessary costs and to achieve satisfying results through custom solutions executed at the site.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

In the pictures we can observe the house already in occupation by the residents, with their furniture and the stamp of their personality. At the back of the house, some provisory and necessary   contributions to their daily life have already appeared.  Using the reserved space, the residents added a roof to the laundry as well a wood made shelter for the car.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

The  Brazilian Programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida, which offers private financial initiative to buy the land and build the house,  ends up limiting the  possibilities of invention during the design process because of the conditioning and legal demands.  We, therefore, consider that this low cost urban house is distinguished by   the quality of its created spaces. Examples such as this one can disseminate a range of possibilities to create   low cost architecture without being obliged to have recourse to standard solutions.

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Alexandre Prass

Image Courtesy © Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

Image Courtesy © Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

Image Courtesy © Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

Image Courtesy © Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

Image Courtesy © Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

Image Courtesy © Núcleo de Arquitetura Experimental

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Categories: House, Residential

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