Aug 30, 2023

Brazilian Houses: 7 Projects With Opaque Facades

Not all projects seek a constant connection with the outside, at least not in their front façade. Despite not being a usual appearance, there are several reasons for creating an opaque façade: privacy, security, reduced energy consumption, and protection against inclement weather. More common in government, cultural or religious buildings, this solution is also found in some residential cases.

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If one wishes to have privacy from the eyes of the street, building an opaque facade can often hide an interior oasis that maintains a constant connection with the outside, providing natural lighting and ventilation to the interior. In addition, this element can help reduce a building's energy consumption by working with thermal inertia. After all, in hot weather, opaque walls block the heat from the sun and contribute to a cooler interior, reducing the need for air conditioning. In cold weather, they help retain the building's heat, reducing the need for heating systems. Among other benefits, such as reducing external noise and protection against more adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds and storms, closing the facade can provide a very efficient solution in some cases. Below, we present seven Brazilian residences that have opted for it.

"The glazed sides and frames are protected from excessive sunlight by a large wall slightly suspended from the floor, supported by the same pillars on one side of the main beams. It has the function of blocking the direct afternoon sun at its hottest time, although the free space between it and the frames where an open garden is located, allows the entry of indirect natural light. In addition, the frame and eaves setbacks protect the rest of the space from direct sunlight. "

"A central axis in the walkway directs the user and ties together the volumes that make up the residence, creating a well-marked trajectory throughout the entire terrain. The service block participates in the front closure of the lot, with an earthy-colored volume that receives pedestrians on one side and hides cars on the other. The walkway breaks through the generous social block and heads towards the bedroom block, opening up to the large central garden that culminates at the end of the lot towards the preserved native forest."

"The main façade, with no openings, keeps the eyes away and guarantees complete privacy inside the house. In turn, it opens completely onto the garden, another great passion of the professional."

"A large rammed earth wall made with sand and soil from the local area surrounds the house and is also part of its structure. This ancient technique creates a unique identity, as there is nothing else like it in the world, both in terms of aesthetics - the colors and spacing of the layers - as well as in size."

"With the volumetrics solved, the choice of materiality for this large volume (a monolith and the sensation of a single block) came from the desire for the entire block to be made of concrete. In the end, at the client's option, the house was built in masonry and covered with ribbed concrete panels."

"The roof of the Naves House is formed by a sequence of parallel beams and exposed concrete slabs. The misalignments between these elements create crevices that allow direct and indirect natural light to enter", ensuring comfort for residents with an opaque front façade.

"The house's U-shaped layout allows for well-defined sectoring on a single floor, making the leisure and living spaces the focal point of the house's dynamics", with the base of the U forming the opaque façade that provides privacy for the entire built space.

ArchDaily Team Diogo Simões