Gallery: The Breezy, Beautiful Brazilian Leaf House


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.

+ Mareines + Patalano Arquitetura

Via World Architecture News


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  1. fouad kairouani October 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    the leaf house is the best style i ever seen .blow my mind. i love to have to have the plan to built the same one for my sef.

  2. dheeraj kumar October 14, 2011 at 12:51 am

    can some one plz mail me the details of this house….. timber joints, foundation, flooring, wall paneling, wall partitions, mainly roof….etc plz plz plz

  3. Beautiful Bahia House H... December 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    […] in the courtyard provide additional shade coverage for the home and fresh fruit at harvest time. A large overhanging roof with clay tile and wooden ceilings provide ample shade for the interiors, protecting them from the […]

  4. maz76 September 30, 2010 at 4:16 am

    I absolutely love the design and I think that type of structure should be would be great in the South Pacific Islands like Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

  5. Danielle Lamartine September 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Hi, i want to know where exactly is this building!
    Maybe is in Brasil..but in Rio? I don’t think so.

  6. Santiago Calatrava Unve... June 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    […] his latest work — a sleek and sustainable “Museum of Tomorrow” planned for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Situated upon the currently barren Pier Maua, the “sustainably-focused” museum […]

  7. grace21 May 6, 2010 at 12:03 am

    We have a wide range of finishes and materials to choose from. We work with you to ensure
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  8. ridhi cca June 19, 2009 at 9:52 am

    i loved the way architects put up the organic designing in such house, i would like to recieve some more features of the house :)

  9. ridhi cca June 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

    i loved the way architects gave thought to this project. can i get to know some more features about this house..?

  10. Sharunas February 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Could Google bring this into reality in a systematic way?:
    It would be really great, architectural openness and network effects applied to building technology.

  11. clay February 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic to see a gas-guzzling speed boat tied up to the dock at the eco house?

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