Ciribai House

Ciribai House

Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Ilhabela is situated in the Atlantic Ocean four miles of the coast of Sao Paulo State in Brazil.  The island in total covers 134.18 sq mi, and it is a popular tourist destination receiving close to one hundred thousand visitors during the holiday season.  Before Portugal colonized Brazil in 1500, an indigenous tribe called the Tupinambas, inhabited the island. They called the island ‘Ciribai’, which means tranquil place.

The house is located in the downtown part of the island in a busy neighborhood called Pereque.  The house is designed to create a tranquil place from the street and provide outdoor living from within the walls of the project.  The base is elevated 60 centimeters from grade and contains the principal living spaces of the house including the TV area, great room, and kitchen.  The glass walls in the great room and kitchen open to the outdoor pool deck and outdoor kitchen to create an indoor/outdoor space.

The second level is defined by 3 volumes separated by voids and gardens. The voids in the mass become vessels of light, and the composition is both clear and has order. Each of the 3 volumes contains a bedroom suite with balconies facing inwards to the pool deck and outdoor living.

The project architectural language creates a balance between opacity to allow privacy from the street, and transparency  to connect the interior to the outdoor living spaces.