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The rawest of materials – stone, wood and glass – come together in the creation of Rio Bonito, a beautiful residence-cum-retreat in the heart of the Three Peaks nature reserve in Lumiar, Brazil. Designed by architect Carla Juacaba for a museum director client, the home is completely surrounded by nature, standing staunchly against tropical foliage and in close proximity to the river.

You’d think a home supported by thick two stone walls and four steel beams would appear heavy, but the architect succeeds in drawing out a space that appears airy and light, helped by two skylights and a floor-to-ceiling glass facade. The floor is raised from the ground to protect the home from humidity and extreme weather conditions, and a log stove and fireplace keeps the home heated as necessary. It is, as Juacaba describes it, a meeting of “water and fire, weight and weightlessness, the archaic and the modern merging in a unique cosmic habitat.”

Rio Bonito Carla Juacaba

Rio Bonito Carla Juacaba

Rio Bonito Carla Juacaba

Rio Bonito Carla Juacaba

Rio Bonito Carla Juacaba

Photography © Nelson Kon

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