Claudio Bernardes


The house that Claudio Bernardes designed and built for him and his family to enjoy the Palmeiras island, in Angra dos Reis, Brazil, was designed in order to privilege the exuberant natural conditions of the place. Claudio thought of the house as a totally open space and integrated with nature, with cross ventilation and natural lighting, where only the bedrooms were partially closed.

Proposed a stripped down style, fluid and detached from the usual conventions. The base was made in stone, from which the house is built on two wooden floors. The three-meter eave allows the large large straw roof to cross the house, lengthening the ceiling height and expanding the dimensions of the internal area, in order to protect it from rains and winds.

The open ground level, on all sides and two platforms to the bedrooms (a guest suite and the couple’s suite) reached by stairs, makes the house integrate with the surrounding nature.

The large room incorporates two living areas, a dining area and a kitchen-bar. The wooden structure is fully exposed, inspired by vernacular architecture. Part of the impact caused by the project derives from the scale and primitiveness of this structure, which is little more than the large mezzanines to the rooms and the roof. A few meters from the main house, an old fisherman’s house was renovated and has four suites that open onto a wooden deck and the sea.

The infrastructure seeks to supply the needs of living in an island. The lack of fresh water, for example, is equated by a cistern of extraordinary capacity, located below the basement and supplied by rainwater, captured by the roof surface.

The House, assembled in numbered pieces of wood that came floating, pulled by a trawler, was made of wood, stone, straw, thatch and bamboo. The spaces created by Claudio Bernardes for his home provide intimacy, conversation, conviviality and total integration with nature. It is a simple and sensitive project, a kind of manifest by the symbiosis between architecture, nature and man.

Angra dos Reis, RJ

Project date:

Claudio Bernardes

Leonardo Finotti