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Expansive vertical gardens and hybrid spaces craft a setting for gatherings and tranquility at Casa Ibsen (Brazil)

Project name:
Casa Ibsen
Architecture firm:
Matheus Farah + Manoel Maia Arquitetura
São Paulo, Brazil
Fran Parente
Principal architect:
Matheus Farah and Manoel Maia
Design team:
Fernanda Miguel, Pedro Benatti
Manufacturers: Arthur Decor, Basic Elevadores, Casual Móveis, Deca, Dpot, Estilo Inglês, Gaggenau, Kiko Esquadrias, Mekal, Metalbagno, Nordic Structures, Plancus, Punto, RB Pisos, Securit, Spinelli, Tresuno, Tuboar, Valcucine, Viking,WallSystem, augusto moreno; Foundation Design: Appogeo Engenharia; Sounding: Engestac Engenharia
Interior design:
Built area:
1280 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Inner Engenharia
Environmental & MEP:
Rodrigo Oliveira
Tools used:
Concrete, Wood, Glass, Steel
Residential › House

The Ibsen House was designed by the Brazilian architecture office MFMM Arquitetura with the intention to provide shared moments without sacrificing privacy. In a functional and integrated floor plan, the architecture features elements that, while creating opportunities for socializing, ensure discretion and a careful regard for intimacy. The project stands out for its almost complete absence of fixed walls. In their place, immense vertical gardens and large sliding panels divide the spaces. This approach aims to offer hybrid spaces that serve as both a backdrop for gatherings and convey the tranquility of a home - the landscape project is signed by Rodrigo Oliveira.

Casa Ibsen was implemented in a residential area of  São Paulo (Brazil). Despite the grandeur of the blocks, it is a set of volumes in a harmonious relationship with the surroundings, demonstrating respect for the context. The starting point was the design of the pool, considered the center of the residence. It was designed to be visible from almost every room in the house, assuming a space that is simultaneously interior and exterior.

Above the pool is the master suite, with an extensive floor-to-ceiling opening that both exposes and conceals the spaces. The interior of the room is shielded by a large slatted wood panel that slides horizontally, allowing for the complete closure of the opening. When open, the panel removes any barrier between the bedroom and the pool, and the frame supporting the structure becomes a suspended deck. The vertical garden positioned opposite the suite completes the view while also preserving the privacy of the room. On the ground floor, where the pool is located, there is a solarium equipped with four generous chaises on one side, surrounded by lush tropical landscaping.

On the other side is the social block consisting of living and dining areas. The possibility of fully opening to the pool area connects the spaces, allowing for abundant natural ventilation and lighting. In the social block, the panels that slide horizontally to their full opening are positioned in two series of longitudinal tracks, also acting as dividers. On the upper level, another wooden-clad box houses the office, with panels that again offer a full opening to the ground floor rooms. A landscaped rooftop located above the social block complements the living and leisure areas of the residence, establishing a dialogue with the surroundings and offering a privileged view of the neighborhood.

Equipped with a jacuzzi, chaises, and a dining table, the terrace also overlooks the pool and connects to a large solarium created over the block where the master suite is located. Above it are the guest rooms and other private dependencies, whose large windows also open to the pool. In the basement is the most reserved area of the residence, called the Redroom: a space with special lighting and acoustic treatment to create the ideal ambiance for parties. The red neon lights create a distinctive identity that stands out from the rest of the house. The lower floor also includes a fitness area and a spacious garage.

By Liliana Alvarez

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