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Rio House by Olson Kundig

Olson Kundig Designs A Modern Retreat Outside Of Rio

Rio House by Olson Kundig offers a one-of-a-kind view of Rio’s unmistakable skyline, made clear by Christ The Redeemer, and the city’s coast.

From Oscar Niemeyer’s visionary Brasilia to the brutalist buildings of downtown San Paulo, concrete is a key element of modern Brazilian architecture. Rio House by Olson Kundig is an intimate retreat adjacent to Tijuca National Park. The residence is suspended above the ground on 2 poured-in-place concrete piers, one of which doubles as a fireplace.

While Kundig’s Seattle-based firm tips its hat to Brazil’s architectural past, the 1,500-square-foot residence is forward-thinking. The rectangular steel-and glass-box structure hovers above the land, minimizing its impact on the surroundings — 3.1 acres of juçara palm and cariniana trees. At the same time, it features environmentally aware design elements such as a solar water heating system and retractable walls that act as natural ventilation. On the north side, Rio house contains a single bedroom, while the south side features a kitchen, dining area, and lounge. The ground floor has a screened-in porch, an outdoor kitchenette. The southern end provides stunning views of the Rio skyline, made unmistakable by Christ The Redeemer, and the coast that is the pulse of a vibrant city known for its beaches.