Frederico Zanelato - Casa Martins Siquiera

Frederico Zanelato

Casa Martins Siquiera

A True Weekend Retreat - Ferederico Zanelato's own house no doubt paved the way for the design of this marvellous family home near São Paulo. Maximising the slope of the plot, this house spreads living over three levels in three distinct zones.

The embracing the views of the Serra do Japi was the "be all" and "end all" of this build.
Frederico wanted a house that stimulates discussion, where spaces are integrated and connected to each other, as well as the surrounding plot. Conveniently the plot is well orientated to minimise the suns impact on the residence, and thus the requirements of air conditioning. Frederico's skills at minimising materials and specifying kept this build in economical proportions as well. Total construction cost $510US/m².

Located in a condominium between Jundiaí and Itupeva, 60km from São Paulo, 1000m², with a mild slope and a fantastic views of the Serra do Japi.

The client
A happy young couple with two children, a child and an adolescent and many friends. They wanted a home for the weekends, a place for unforgettable moments, for parties, to receive guests, relax and create. As an advertising director and businesswoman, respectively, the husband and wife team are usually based in São Paulo, and required a "retreat" from the hustle and bustle.

Following the topography of land and its geographical position, the house was designed in three blocks; intimate, social, and service, linked by an elongated circulation area of three distinct levels.

A single open plan wing for the living room, dining and kitchen is connected by a hallway to the rear block of two levels.
To the left of the hallway: two storeys and 4 bedrooms. To the right: the services/utility area and above, private office.

Access to the home is through a wooded avenue. The façade clearly indicates two blocks separated by a large panel of wood, the main door, which when opened, mimics the tree lined avenue. Up lighting is used to create sensations and justify the texture of materials in the entrance way.
Just inside the entrance are doors leading to two of the four bedrooms and stairs to the second level. Both levels overlooking the central courtyard or "birds square" as the owners refer to it. Wooden shutters afford shade and further privacy to these rooms, breaking the white façade nicely and distinguishing the two areas.
This courtyard receives morning sun and cross ventilation through strategic openings, making it a year round pleasant breakfast spot.
Passing the courtyard on your left as you head away from the entrance, you arrive at the social wing. Pleasantly shaded, overlooking the pool, a leisure area and further behind, views to the Sierra Japi.

Here, kitchen, dining and living room intertwine. It’s position between the "birds square" and the swimming pool area is strategic, for coexistence and as a buffer between the two zones: repose and action. The "birds square" works as a further filter between the social and private wings and creates an open intimate space.

The outdoor rooms, or BBQ area, is located in the largest free area of the plot. It too is open to those views that inspired the choice of the land: the Serra do Japi.

Half way to the second level bedrooms, the circulation area opens to a roof deck over the living area. Used as a mini-golf course, the deck is also the only access to the owners workshop and hidden office, which is above the service wing.

The choice of materials was defined according to the function of each area obeying the basic rules of environmental comfort and wishes of this family.

The Result
A house zoned into three distinct areas, each buffered from the other by the outdoors that allows for private retreat or very social entertaining.


Architect: Frederico Zanelato
Co-authors: Marcelo Miua and Fernanda Kano
Student: Regina Sesoko
Structures: Vagner Garcia de Oliveira
Photos: Bebete Viégas
Completed: 2007
Costs: $510 US/m²

Information courtesy of: Frederico Zanelato