Simplicity and respect for nature characterise the Veranda House (Casa Varanda) project, by the architect Carla Juacaba, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A rectangular, transparent house, with glass walls and a weathering steel structure, suspended 90 centimetres from the ground, cuts through the middle of land on which grow hundred year old trees and which ends in a forest.
According to the architect, the longitudinal installation of the structure in the middle of the land, occupying the only clearing that existed, is the principal concept of the project. And the skylight which cuts the roof of the house in the same direction as the house cuts through the land reinforces this idea.
The glass walls allow your gaze to cross the house, giving the impression of proximity to the surrounding vegetation, totally preserved by the building and guaranteeing privacy of the residence. It is the skylight which pays its tribute to nature, leaving the sun to mark the passage of time every day on the walls.
The structure of weathering steel sections, also called Indaten (the used by ArcelorMittal) or Corten, was welded and assembled in 15 days. According to the architect, the selection of the material is justified by its low cost; and the selection of weathering steel is justified by its resistance to corrosion, which in this area is intensified by the sea air. The steel structure is clearly to be seen, both inside and outside the property.
The name of the house is a reference to the central living room, a large space between perpendicular brick walls, which has panels which, when open, transform the room into a large veranda. The roof, which projects 1.5 m beyond the glass wall, provides protection and emphasises the veranda room.
The plan of the house is symmetrical, with the bedrooms at the ends. The brick walls were arranged transversally so as not to obstruct the view of the land.
The roof is of steel tiles with a zinc-aluminium coating and is formed by steel panels with polyurethane foam on the inside to guarantee thermal and acoustic insulation.
The geographical characteristics of the region, which is muddy, at the bottom of the mountain and liable to flooding, were the reasons for suspension of the volume, on the eight steel pillars, which are supported on concrete piles 20 m long and deep to guarantee stability.
The Veranda House has similarities with other residences designed by the architect, in Rio de Janeiro - the Casatelier (2001), and the Casa Rio Bonito (2003) - demonstrating the use of simple shapes, large spaces, large openings and steel structures and care taken to integrate the structure with its surrounding nature.