Villa Kabru designed within a rainforest
Swiss architectural practice, OOS, have designed the Villa Kabru project. Situated on the outskirts of the town of Itacaré, in the south of the state of Bahia, Brazil. It lies in the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantîca), which is protected as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
Villa Kabru blends seamlessly into its paradisiacal surroundings. This hideaway is built on a platform system and the palpable sense of 360 degrees of openness, which is echoed in every detail, is more than just a concept – living in and living with the tropical forest.
A sequence of diverse rooms on different levels beneath a traditionally folded roof lies at the heart of the design concept and convey the feeling of lightness. The triangular platforms are suited to their specific uses and relate to the environment and to each other in different ways.
Steps make the distinction between the various different levels. The platforms rise up to six meters above the floor of the Mata Atlantîca. While living in the depths of the tropical forest, residents and guests still feel protected against wild nature.
Recycled wood and locally available materials, which can be returned to the ecological cycle (cradle to cradle), were used for the simple structure, which is designed as a three-dimensional, half-timbered, wooden construction. A rough construction manual was drafted, based on a virtual 3D model, and then put into action on the site itself by local tradesmen, without the aid of classic construction plans. The link between traditional, local building techniques and contemporary design can be seen both in the technical high quality of the wooden structure’s joins, as well as in the natural roof made from interlaced palm leaves (Piacava), whose shape mirrors the local building style.
The luxury villa, which is available to rent, is only 1 kilometre away from the secluded, paradisiacal beaches of the former fishing village and surf mecca, Itacaré. The hideaway consists of an open-fronted living space with kitchen, various hangoutterraces, an open living platform, a lockable bedroom with walk-in closet space, terrace shower and a generous bathing area. A swimming pool, integrated into the wonderful garden landscape, is also available for use. The furnishings are a mix of contemporary classics and pieces designed by the owner herself.
Images courtesy of Patrick Armbruster
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