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DB Arquitetos stacks house with wooden screens on Brazilian coast

Brazilian architecture studio DB Arquitetos has completed a holiday home surrounded by a wooden screen in a forested site outside of São Paulo, Brazil.

Known as Casa VJC Iporanga, the 660-square-metre summer retreat is located in a residential condominium complex in Guarujá, roughly 100 kilometers southeast of São Paulo on the Atlantic coast.

The home was completed in 2023 by the Brazilian team of DB Arquitectos, which is lead by architect David Basto, and Marina Salles Arquitectura e Interiores, which previously renovated the interior of the client's primary residence in downtown São Paulo.

The five-level house is delicately stacked along a steep slope in a densely vegetated site.

"An invitation to immersion, the proposal takes advantage of the double layer that surrounds the residence, from the palette of natural materials applied to the base, to the canopy of trees – alluding to a treehouse – suggesting a shelter," the team told Dezeen.

"A pause to urban frenzy, this is the ideal place to slow down, emphasising the calm lifestyle."

The lower floors contain private sleeping areas, surrounded through openings by the plants outside; meanwhile, the upper floors hold the social spaces, which look out to the treetops and coastal landscape.

The two-tiered roof is supported by round concrete columns. Floor-to-ceiling glazing set in bronze-coloured sliding frames flanks the living areas.

On the top floor, the kitchen, dining, and living room are finished with a plank ceiling made of Cumaru wood and granite floors, which translate f comfort and lightness.

"In decoration, the mix of pieces in wood, linen, straw, rattan and ceramics suggests the simplicity of an authentic beach house, without forgetting easy maintenance and durability against the effects of time and sea air," the team said, noting the pair of Jocal sofas and waterproof-canvas Iporanga House, Marina Salles armchairs.

The main level also contains light wooden elements like a Xangai rattan armchair, indigenous benches, custom nesting side tables and a chest, sideboard and centre tables commissioned from a carpentry workshop in Tiradentes.

The social spaces open out to a balcony with a sun deck outfit with a rustic wooden pergola, outdoor kitchen and furniture selected to complement the pieces inside and provide continuity between the interior and exterior.

A small rectangular pool holds the edge of the deck with a glass railing to protect the edge of the balcony.

"Encouraging an integrated experience with nature on the terrace, the absence of enclosures intensifies the residents' connection with the landscape, like an observatory where the sea is seen above the treetops," the team said.

Below, the suites are protected from the elements with slatted Cumaru wood panels, which wrap around the facade and form half-height guardrails and bi-fold louvers.

When closed, the screens allow the lower floors to disappear into the forest as a wooden mass. When open, the screens reveal banding along the different levels.

The suites are decorated in shades of beige, green, and blue that were drawn from the nautical-themed illustrations that Salles sketched for embroidered details.

The wooden screens also conceal a home theatre with linen curtains that filter natural light, an orange and green striped rug and straw baskets created by local craftsmen.

Other projects recently completed near São Paulo include a cantilevered courtyard house by Marcelo Couto and Rodrigo Oliveira and an overhauled apartment with "two universes" by Pascali Semerdjian.

When open, the screens reveal banding along the different levels


  • State of São Paulo, Brazil
  • DB Arquitetos