12×12 by Bernardes Arquitetura

12×12 by Bernardes Arquitetura

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Area: 4,844 sqft
Photo courtesy: Leonardo Finotti

Located in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, this house was designed for a young couple with two children. It’s a compact housing volume located in a site surrounded by buildings in a narrow street. The transition between the urban environment to the interior space of a residence is articulated by the frontal façade through a succession of layers that make up a landscape in movement.


An extensive program of 450 sqm (4,844 sqft) was distributed in a 12x12m (40x40ft) lot along three floors and a rooftop. The steel structure and the waffle slab have allowed a free floor plan and an unobstructed façade without any intermediate structural elements. The main stairs and elevator were located along the side structural wall creating generous internal spaces for the children bedrooms in the ground level, the living room in the first floor and the master bedroom in the second.


On the ground level, wood vertical louvers protect the main entrance and the two bedrooms on this floor. On the second and third floors, the spaces shaped by mandatory setbacks are lined with dense vegetation all along the street facade, bringing privacy for the main living room and the master bedroom.


External to the façade garden, horizontal metal blinds provide further privacy and light control. When open, this garden becomes part of the street landscape and creates an interesting dialogue between the interior and exterior of the house.

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