Studio mk27


Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil




Fernando Guerra

The Jungle House: An Architectural Masterpiece Harmoniously Merging Home and Nature

Striking the perfect balance between organic and sophisticated, The Jungle House blends nature and contemporary architecture beautifully. Located in the rain forest, a short distance away from the shore and the bustling streets of São Paulo, Brazil, this house in the jungle offers a refuge from the metropolis and a sanctuary with a swimming pool – in the middle of nature. The striking retreat was designed by Studio mk27, an architecture practice that has represented Brazil at the Venice Biennale in 2012.

For this particular project, the goals were clear: the structure needed to integrate into its environment seamlessly with minimal impact on the landscape, ensuring the jungle’s survival; the interior had to provide a direct relationship between the inhabitants and the surrounding jungle; and the rooms required optimum natural light. Similar to a tree house, but here the jungle vegetation replaces houseplants. Rising and reaching forward from the mountain side, the structure creates an organic interaction with the land. Unlike a bamboo house, this retreat achieves that connection with concrete elements. A section stands suspended on two pillars; clean rectangular shapes respect the open area of the jungle and combine with wood cladding to complement the landscape.

A jungle tree house made of concrete and wood.

While the opposite of an underground house or a jungle survival dwelling crafted using ancient skills, the lower level feels like cavern as it’s enveloped in vegetation. A concrete corridor featuring a beautiful lighting piece designed by celebrated artist Olafur Eliasson takes visitors inside the home. The three floors feature an inverted distribution of living spaces compared to traditional homes. On the ground level, there are the children’s rooms and a large wooden deck sheltered by the projection of the house, offering a perfect playground area. On the first floor, the six bedrooms have verandas and hammocks, while at the top level, various socializing areas include the living room, kitchen, an infinity swimming pool, a sauna, and a terrace covered in grass.

Throughout the home, wood and exposed concrete create a stylish and organic living space. While distinctly contemporary, the structure gives a nod to ancient skills and houses made of rammed earth, bamboo or stone. Its design also focuses on the preservation of the natural site, on jungle’s survival in a state as wild as possible. Nature is visually present in every area of the house. Naturally, houseplants are not needed here. Steps made of stone slabs lead guests through tall trees from the underground house-like floor to the upper level. The first floor is bathed in sunlight which filters through the leaves. The top area links the mountain, forest, and the ocean to the social space. A stunning family home that pays homage to the tropical jungle it inhabits, the house allows its residents to live inside a stylish natural refuge. Photography by Fernando Guerra, courtesy of Studio mk27.

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