Outside of Rio de Janeiro, on a beautiful little beach with amazing blue water, sits a little house with a flowering roof that shades and protects like a big tropical banana leaf. Designed by Mareines + Patalano, the open air abode is meant to encourage interaction and connection between man and nature. With verandas and open spaces in between rooms and no corridors, the tropical beach house is an ideal place for social gatherings and parties. The open layout also takes advantage of trade winds that blow in from the sea, providing natural ventilation and passive cooling.
The architects describe their design as low-tech eco-efficient, due to the use of natural ventilation for cooling. Homes in the tropics rarely need much more than a breeze in order to keep the environment comfortable. As for other sustainable design techniques, the roof harvests rainwater for use in the house, and the interior is naturally finished with wood, stone and natural fabrics. We suspect the wood was harvested locally, and can only hope it was done so in a sustainable fashion.
Above all the Leaf House is amazing inspiration for organic design that brings the outdoors in. It protects the inhabitants from rain and sun, while bringing in fresh breezes to cool the interior. The design was originally inspired by Brazil’s Indian Architecture, which used local materials to provide shade, protection and encourage natural breezes for cooling.