Brazilian architecture firm Vilela Florez designed Casa Bambu (Bamboo House), a breezy, contemporary home in northeast Brazil that takes its name from its striking use of bamboo for herringbone-patterned exterior paneling. Covering an area of nearly 2,000 square feet, this holiday home was built on a limited budget of 80,000 euros (approximately $93,140 USD) with a tight design and construction deadline of ten months for a couple who spends most of the year on a sailboat traveling through the Mediterranean Sea. The house takes cues from the clients’ travels with its Mediterranean-inspired blue hues and Portuguese mosaic stone floors found in the outdoor living areas.
Located outside of a small village near Pipa Beach, Casa Bambu includes three bedrooms and bathrooms placed separately from the outdoor communal living areas. The architects built a two-story volume for the private rooms out of concrete masonry blocks that they then clad in panels of bamboo arranged in a herringbone pattern. In contrast, the primary living areas — including the dining room, kitchen and living space — are located in an adjacent open-air structure that overlooks the pool.
“Given the limited time granted for design and construction, a simple volume with the rooms is proposed and connected by bridges to an outdoor living area, paved in stone as the traditional Portuguese sidewalks,” the architects explained in a project statement. “This living area is protected laterally by two local stone walls and shaded by a wooden roof. Besides the natural color palette, spanning from wood, to bamboo and natural stone, the bedroom volume is painted in Mediterranean blue, a color so familiar to the clients from their many boat trips.”
The house is also oriented to take advantage of cooling cross ventilation. The prevailing winds are cooled when they pass over the outdoor pool and are passed into the living spaces and the bedrooms, which open up through sliding doors.
Images by Mariana Vilela and Daniel F. Flórez