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The Horizon As Home [Brazil]

Discover the sustainable architecture of Leandro Britto

How does an architect create the feeling of space in times of pandemic? Bringing the horizon in, perhaps?

Questions that Paris-based Brazilian architect Leandro Britto had in mind as he stayed in Brazil longer than expected during the breakout of the Covid Pandemic.

The longer he stayed, the more he thought and reflected about his relation to cities and homes: his homeland of Brazil and his home in Paris.

To build or not to build in the abundant space of his family’s farmland in Brazil?

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Naturally Homemade

House Igarapé is a project born from the necessity to value home, wherever that is. Using elements of vernacular architecture and modern design, the house is an exploration of ancestral building methods, culture, and sustainability.

The architect wanted to create roots in times of displacement.

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Hence, the front of house is built in a traditional Brazilian brick design called Cobogó, which is hollow, letting air and sunlight flow throw spaces.

The use of clay, mud and bamboo walls that cool the spaces are also a nod to indigenous building techniques.

The house is supported by six pillars built into ceramic shackles to hide the concrete from view.

The roof is also inspired by nature, precisely by butterfly wings. A design solution that helps with water storing and in the thermic isolation of the house.

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The idea of Casa Igarapé is mining for experiences

Because the region is still an active mining area, setting a home here that works sustainably with nature was paramount.

As the house sits in the middle of his family’s ancestral land there is no electricity. Hence the use of solar panels which are kept off sight by the butterfly wing design of the roof.

Themes of beauty, sustainable design, cultural heritage, and nature symmetries inform a design work that is part of the landscape.

By honoring his heritage, Leandro Britto creates a conversation with local artisans, builders, and a sustainable approach to house building.  Creating a home to breathe in a new horizon in Brazil.


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Photography by Leandro Britto