Sun House by David Guerra

Sun House, Belo Horizonte - Brazil, David Guerra

The owners of the house, a couple with two married children and grandchildren, had decided to make a new house in the same neighborhood and street where they used to live, but that would better reflect their current phase of life.

Hired to develop not only the architectural project but also the interior design, the office aimed to make this new house a safe and inspiring refuge. “A cozy house, to protect and encourage family life, their wishes and ideas, creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere”.

The family’s older house, with its 1000m2 of construction, felt inadequate to the customers’ present lifestyle and new wishes.

Smaller, and with a simpler program, executed in 600 m2, the new house should stand higher than street level, be surrounded by gardens and occupy a single floor, with the underground holding only a sauna and a studio.

Some problems, like moisture and low sunlight, that used to make the old spaces too cold, should be avoided at all costs in the new project.

The sun, bringing natural illumination and heating to all of the rooms, became a premise and directed the distribution of spaces and the positioning of the large window panes, including higher openings. Cross ventilation and integration with the gardens were also explored with the use of the material.

The living room, dining room, and home theater are all part of the same block, with high ceilings and metallic structure, which differs from the rest of the construction. Ceramic shingle and light toned ipe wood ceiling lining were used for the single pitched roof, which extends towards the side gardens, creating the balcony. The main parts of the metallic structure were kept exposed and were coated with coffee tinted automotive paint, highlighting the tones of the ceiling and of the ancient farm wood that was used on the floor.

The spacious and well-lighted kitchen also holds a garden, and the room can be closed or opened, integrating with the dining room. A large sliding wooden panel, with lacquer finishing in the same color as the walls, guarantees the flexibility of use.

Hydraulic tiles with delicate and geometric motifs were used on the balcony floor and on the lavatory walls.

The former leisure area with a pool was replaced by a spa, with a view to the mountains. Instead of the traditional barbecue space, which was desired by one of the sons, a separated gourmet kitchen was created by request of the client, equipped with a Char Broil grill.

The Italian texture Tuscania, from Novacolor, was used on the façades.

The house follows sustainability precepts: solar energy, reuse of rain water, high ventilation and illumination, and usage of materials that come from certificated companies, such as the MDF on the furniture.

The interior design made use of old family pieces, furniture and objects full of personal memories from the family and their travels, seeking to portray the history and identity of the owners. The mixture of new and old, present both in the architecture and in the interior design, guaranteed that the house would acquire the personality of the owners, creating a unique and cozy space.

Photos © Jomar Bragança
Project leader: Architect David Guerra
Team: Architect David Guerra, Architect Gisella Lobato, Nínive Cardoso
Location: Villa Castella Neighborhood, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Type: Cottage/ Country – house
Completion date: 2011
Total construction area: 600 m2
Structure and service: structural project – Túlio Antonini, steel structure – Techneaço Engenharia, construction manager – Construtora Zaramella

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